In a bid to reopen three dormant graft cases against Nawaz Sharif and his family in pursuance of an application submitted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an accountability court fixed September 15 as the next date of hearing.
The court deliberated whether the pending references are to be reopened as requested by NAB after Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench issued a stay order on the cases.
Special Judge Court-IV Chaudhry Abdul Haq warned both defence and prosecution lawyers not to seek adjournment in the next hearing, and come fully prepared with their respective arguments related to the re-opening of cases.
Additional Prosecutor General (APG) NAB, Chaudhry Muhammad Riaz maintained that the accused should personally attend the court proceedings after notices were issued to them.
Appearing on behalf of Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, Advocate Chaudhry Hassan Maan contended that since the references have not been opened, it is not necessary for the Sharifs and other accused to appear in court personally.
Maan termed the application laden with political intent to malign the Sharifs. He said the trial could not be reinstated since the High Court stopped NAB from taking any action against the family.
Last year, Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif along with other accused, convinced the High Court to nullify the cases as NAB had no evidence to proceed against them.
As long as the petition remains undecided in the High Court the trial court cannot initiate any proceedings, the lawyer maintained.
In the Hudabiya Paper Mills case besides Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Haroon Pasha and Senator Ishaq Dar are accused. They were charged with securing huge sums of money as loan in the name of Hudabiya Paper Mills and later used the amount for some other purpose, thus accruing a huge loss to the national exchequer.
In the Ittifaq Foundry corruption reference Mian Nawaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Mukhtar Hassan, Kamal Qureshi and a couple of other persons were accused of securing big loans and abusing the loans causing loss of millions to the national exchequer.
Similarly, in the Assets Reference, the accused persons included the Sharif brothers, their father, mother Shamim Akhtar and other family members. In this reference they are charged with accumulating huge amounts of money and assets beyond their declared means of income.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.