NAB abused legal process by keeping reference pending, rules SC in Hudaibiya case


ISLAMABAD Jan 05 (TNS): The Supreme Court of Pakistan released on Friday the detailed judgment of its┬ádecision rejecting the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea to reopen the Hudaiybiya Paper Mills case.

The apex court had on December 15 rejected NAB’s appeal against the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision ordering quashing of the case.

The Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justices Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Miankhel, upheld the LHC order quashing the NAB reference.

The reference, which pertains to alleged money laundering by members of the Sharif family including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, stems from a now-disowned confession by former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

In its detailed judgment, the bench noted that “the learned Judges of the High Court were justified to quash the Reference and once it was quashed the question of reinvestigation did not arise.”

In the detailed judgment, the bench further noted that the respondents were “denied due process” and “the legal process was abused, by keeping the Reference pending indefinitely and unreasonably.” Also observing that the “respondents were denied the right to vindicate themselves”.

The detailed judgment acknowledged “the manner in which Mr. Imranul Haq, the learned Special Prosecutor, conducted the case. Though the brief entrusted to him was difficult he remained stoic and tenaciously persevered.”

The Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, involving money laundering charges against the Sharif family, was initiated by NAB in 2000 but quashed by the LHC in 2014. The NAB had appealed the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.