Accountability court issues notices to Sharifs
By: Malik Asad
RAWALPINDI: An accountability court issued on Wednesday notices to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other members of the Sharif family to respond to an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau for reopening three corruption references against them.
Judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq observed that the Lahore High Court had already issued a stay order in these cases.
In October last year, while hearing a petition seeking quashment of references against the Sharif family the LHC Rawalpindi bench temporarily restrained NAB from proceeding in the case.The court ordered the NAB authorities to submit record of the cases on the next date of hearing and adjourned the matter to July 28.
In September 2007, the references were adjourned for an indefinite period because the Sharifs were in exile.
On February 17, 2010, NAB filed an application for reopening the cases, but the accountability court’s judge observed that the references could only be reopened on a request from NAB’s chairman because the cases had been adjourned sine die by another AC judge.
Later AC-I judge Muhammad Tariq Abbasi did not entertain the application filed by NAB because the post of its chairman was vacant at that time.
The judge observed that he could not rule out a decision of another judge because he had no review powers.
In State versus Hudabiya Paper Mills (Pvt) Ltd, nine members of the Sharif family are accused of committing corruption of Rs642.743 million.
According to NAB allegations, the accused deposited the ill-gotten money in accounts opened in other person’s names and used it to pay off loans of the ‘Sharif companies’.
Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Mrs Shamim Akhtar (mother of Nawaz Sharif), Mrs Sabiha Abbas, Mrs Maryam Safdar and former federal minister M. Ishaq Dar are among the accused in the reference.
The State versus Nawaz Sharif, etc case is related to the Raiwind assets.
The main allegation in the reference is that the accused had acquired vast tracts of land upon which a number of palatial houses and mansions were built with resources which appeared to be grossly disproportionate to their known sources of income.
Apart from Nawaz Sharif, his mother Mrs Shamim Akhtar is also an accused in the case.
In the State versus Ittefaq Foundries, etc case Nawaz Sharif, his brother Abbas Sharif and Kamal Qureshi are accused of committing corruption of Rs 1,063 million.
The main allegation in the case is that Ittefaq Foundries Ltd obtained cash finance from the National Bank. As per NAB allegations, the company willfully defaulted to pay back the amount in 1994.