Justice Khosa excuses himself from SC bench hearing Hudaibiya case

Justice Khosa excuses himself from SC bench hearing Hudaibiya case”

As the court proceedings went underway, Justice Khosa observed that it could have been a likely mistake of the court office that the Hudaibiya case was put before him since he had already been part of the bench who had delivered the verdict in the Panama Papers case and it would thus be inappropriate for him to take up this case.

On November 10, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar formed a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, comprising of Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel to hear NAB's appeal against a Lahore High Court order to quash an investigation into the Rs1.2 billion Hudabiya Paper Mills scam against the Sharif family. "I wrote 14 paragraphs over Hudaibiya Papers Mills in the April 20 decision". He continued, "It seems that the office has not read my verdict on Panama Leaks case".

"However, once the previous verdict in the case [in the LHC] is going to be rendered void, Dar's status as approver will also end", the justice remarked further.

The NAB pleaded with the court to set the hearing next week.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor asked the court that the case be heard next week.

It had said when the Panamagate joint investigating team (JIT) formed to probe corruption allegations against the Sharif family in the long-drawn case had collected further incriminating evidence relating to Hudaibiya Paper Mills, "NAB can not be debarred/restrained from proceeding further with the investigation".

The JIT had in its report had recommended that the Hudaibiya Paper Mills Case should be reopened.

On July 28, the apex court while announcing the landmark decision regarding Panamagate case had directed the NAB to reopen the case.

The judge also said that the reference was quashed by then LHC because in the investigation, the Sharifs had not been associated and Dar's confessional statement had been made before a magistrate and not before the trial court.

The Hudaibiya Paper Mills was allegedly used as a cover by the Sharif family to launder money outside the country in the 1990s.

Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, their mother Shamim Akhtar, younger brother late Abbas Sharif, Nawaz's children, Maryam and Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Hudaibiya Paper Mills Ltd and others have been named as respondents in the appeal.

Dar had claimed that he had made the "confession" in duress and disowned the statement.

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