NAB to file appeal in SC for reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case

NAB to move SC against IHC's verdict in Avenfield case

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to file an appeal in Supreme Court of Pakistan against the Lahore High Court (LHC) decision of closing the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.
Media reports quoting NAB Spokesman said that the accountability body will appeal the apex court for reopening the two-decade-old Hudaibiya Paper Mills case based on the new material that surfaced in the wake of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report and Panama case.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), contending that it had failed to file an appeal against the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict of closing Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, in accordance with the apex court verdict in Panama Papers case.
The petitioner submitted that NAB’s lawyer had assured the court on July 21, 2017, during the hearing of Panama Papers case that he would file an appeal within a week, challenging the LHC verdict to close the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, and that the case would be reopened.
However, he pleaded that the NAB had not acted upon its ‘voluntary undertaking’ in the court by not filing an appeal against the LHC verdict, which amounted to a contempt of court.
He recalled that during the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had confessed to his involvement in laundering $14.86 million (about Rs 1.2bn) for the Sharif family in a statement submitted before a magistrate on April 25, 2000, on the basis of which he was pardoned in the case.
The petition states that the statement of NAB’s lawyer was part of Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case, in which the judges had ordered the anti-graft body to file a reference and restart an investigation of the case.
Sheikh Rasheed, in his petition, stated that he had sent the NAB a reminder notice after seven days, however, it did not reply and failed to act.
Referring to media reports, he claimed that the NAB had apparently decided not to file an appeal for reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference. He alleged that the NAB was acting in favour of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his family and Ishaq Dar.
He requested the court to ensure that its order regarding the NAB probe was implemented. The petition states that if the case was not reopened by the NAB, money laundering in the country would be strengthened.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad also sent a letter to NAB chairman, saying that failure to comply with the SC’s order ‘exposes the bureau to contempt of court’ and demanded an answer of the bureau.

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