ISLAMABAD – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed a review petition before the Supreme Court on Wednesday regarding the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference, an appeal for reopening of which was quashed.
The petition was filed as on Dec 15, a three-judge bench of the apex court had rejected the bureau’s appeal to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference, accusing the Sharif family of having committed money laundering using their paper mill.
The petition was filed in line with the directives of the apex court as outlined in the Panama papers case judgment by a five-member bench, however, the bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel rejected the appeal.
The Supreme Court’s detailed order regarding rejection of NAB’s appeal stated that the case had been dismissed as the reference exceeded its expiry date observing that the reference was used to oppress the Sharif family.
The 40-page appeal has been prepared by NAB’s special prosecutor Imranul Haq arguing that the apex court discarded the statement of former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on wrong premises as it was recorded before learned Magistrate after the grant of pardon, by Chairman NAB; as required under section 26 NAO1999.
It pleaded that the confession was made as per the prevailing practice of recording of statement of approver before Magistrate even in ordinary criminal cases, although not required by specific provision of Cr.P.C.
“The reference to Sec 26(e) of NAO in paragraph No. 29 of the judgment under review may be reconsidered for the reasons that; Sec 26 of NAO 1999 contains two part; the first part of sec 26 (a) (b) of NAO 1999, pertains to tender of the pardon by Chairman NAB and recording the statement before him. The second part i.e Sec 26 (d) (e) of NAO 1999 pertains to examination of approver during trial and in case of resiling from conditions of pardon, the proceeding against approver at subsequent trial,” the petition states.
“That in the original text of Ordinance XVIII of 1999, National Accountability Bureau Ordinance 1999, pardon was / is completed within Section 26(a) of NAO 1999 , whereas after the amendment made on 05-07-2000 by virtue of Ordinance XXIV of 2000 pardon is/was completed within Section 26(a)(b) of NAO 1999.(Clause (c) would not be relevant in the instant case),” the petition argued.
The NAB has challenged, among other points of the detailed order, paragraph 23 which states that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, were “subjected to intensive investigation and by those who would be considered inimical to them”.