LHC judge refuses to hear Sharifs’ petition against NAB


Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday refused to hear three petitions filed by the Sharifs, challenging the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against Ittefaq Foundries and others.
He referred the cases to the LHC chief justice, with a request to fix the hearing before another bench.
Justice Hassan was hearing cases as a referee judge after the dissenting observation by a division bench which was earlier hearing the cases.
The point of difference in the division bench in the two petitions titled Hudabia Papers Limited and Shamim Akhtar v Federation of Pakistan is: “Whether this court after coming to the conclusion that the reference and subsequent proceedings taken thereon are liable to be quashed, should however make an observation that NAB authorities are competent to proceed against the petitioners if investigation is again initiated in accordance with law or would this observation amount to give a free hand to the NAB authorities and premium to the prosecution of their own fault and provide them an opportunity to fill up their lacunas and equip them with better tools for combating/victimising the petitioners at their hands after a lapse of 12 years almost.”
The point of difference referred to the judge in the case of M/s Ittefaq Foundries (Pvt) Ltd v Federation of Pakistan is, “Whether this court should quash the reference and subsequent proceedings thereon on the grounds that the petitioners had not joined investigation; that civil litigation was pending between the parties and that the reference is outcome of malafide or whether the petition should be dismissed on the basis that willful default was made out which was an offence under the NAB Ordinance and no ground for quashing the reference was made out and the petitioners should be directed to approach the learned trial court and to make their pleas before the court.”