CJP constitutes bench for reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference

Islamabad(BBC ASIA) Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has constituted a three member bench for reopening of Hudaibiya Papers Mill reference against Sharif family.

The three-judge bench will be headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, and will also include Justice Dost Muhammad and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel.

The bench will begin hearings pertaining to the reference on Nov 13.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had appealed to the apex court against the Lahore High Court’s 2014 decision to acquit Nawaz Sharif and several members of his family in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

In its appeal, the bureau asked the apex court to set aside the 2014 judgement “in the interest of justice, fair play and equity”.

Naming Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, their deceased brother Abbas Sharif and five other family members as respondents, NAB urged the court to declare the LHC judgement void and illegal.

NAB had argued in its appeal that the referee judge was not “competent” to set aside the findings of the high court, in which NAB had been allowed to re-initiate investigations against Sharif family members.

It had said when the Panamagate joint investigating team (JIT) formed to probe corruption allegations against the Sharif family in the long-drawn case had collected further incriminating evidence relating to Hudaibiya Paper Mills, “NAB cannot be debarred/restrained from proceeding further with the investigation.”

The JIT had in its report recommended that the Hudaibiya Paper Mills Case should be reopened.

Based on the recommendation, the SC in its July 28 verdict in the Panamagate case had asked the bureau to reopen the case while it filed references in other cases.

It had also questioned the role of NAB, which had seemingly favoured the Sharifs in the Hudaibya Paper Mills case by not challenging LHC’s decision to quash it.

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