Ittefaq units’ sale: LHC wants foreign firm credentials verified

CJ says knowing a foreign firm essential before selling national assets.


Our Correspondent May 13, 2014
The group is owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his siblings, and extended family. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:


The Lahore High Court chief justice on Tuesday directed a committee formed to sell four units of Ittefaq Group to verify the credentials of a foreign firm interested in buying the units.


The group is owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his siblings, and extended family.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial was hearing several petitions regarding the sale of the Ittefaq Foundry’s subsidiaries, Ittefaq Brothers and Brothers Steel Mill, in order to pay an outstanding loan worth billions of rupees.  The court was informed that a foreign firm, Premier Properties, had shown interest in buying the units. The company’s counsel had said that the firm wanted to buy the group’s assets for Rs6.5 billion.

Justice Bandial directed the sales committee to scrutinise the credentials of the company. He also directed the company to deposit Rs50 million to the committee. The CJ said that knowing the credentials of a foreign firm was essential before selling national assets.

The Sharif family’s counsel Ashtar Ausaf said the sale should be completed without further delay. He said the emergence of new buyers could hamper a smooth process. The CJ asked the counsel whether Hassan Nawaz, director of Ittefaq foundry, had given his consent to the sale. Ausaf said he had no objection to it. Bandial asked him for an NOC on behalf of his client. The hearing was adjourned until May 16

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2014.

 

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