Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Justice Khosa excuses himself from Hudaibiya case bench

Justice Khosa excuses himself from Hudaibiya case bench

The bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan was to hear the case, but Justice Khosa recused himself from the bench and referred the matter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan for constituting another bench for the objective.

As the hearing began, Justice Khosa remarked that it could be the fault of the court office that the case was put up in front of him, as he had already spoken his mind on the subject in the Panama Papers case and it would thus not be appropriate for him to adjudicate the case.

Supreme Court's Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who had been appointed as head of a three-member bench to hear Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against Sharifs, on Monday has withdrawn from the bench.

The NAB through its Prosecutor General Waqas Qadeer Dar had filed the appeal, pleading the top court to grant leave to appeal to examine the legality, propriety and vires of the 2014 LHC verdict quashing the Hudaibya Paper Mills case and set aside the impugned judgement. "I wrote 14 paragraphs over Hudaibiya Papers Mills in the April 20 decision".

The anti-graft body had submitted that in view of the fact that the JIT which was constituted by the apex court while dealing with the petitions, for probing Panama matter, when collected further incriminating material regarding Hudaibiya Paper Mills, it (NAB) can not be debarred or restrained from proceeding further with the investigation, hence it would be appropriate to set aside the impugned judgment to the extent of re-investigation in order to fortify and corroborate the material collected by the JIT.

Hudaibiya Paper Mills had7 directors: Mian Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Hussain Nawaz, Sabiha Abbas and Shamim Akhtar.

The Hudaibiya Papers case was filed against the Sharif family members on the orders of General Musharraf in light of a 45-page detailed hand-written affidavit on 25 April 2000 given by Ishaq Dar involving Rs 1.2 billion money laundering. The case has been adjourned for indefinite time. Barrister Zafar argued that Nawaz Sharif was convicted in the plane hijacking case and left for Jeddah after signing a deal with Musharraf without filing any appeal in the case.he filed the appeal after an eight-year hiatus and "the court condoned the delay at his request so that decision may be used against him to condone the delay in filing an appeal in the Hudaibia Papers mills case", he maintained. I have also given direction against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in my judgment that before becoming approver he was accused in that case.

Recapping his verdict in the case, Justice Khosa said, "Ishaq Dar was an accused in the case, then he turned into an approver".

However, the high court dismissed it in 2014 after Dar claimed that confessional statement was taken under duress. However, the matter was re-investigated but a division bench of the LHC gave a split decision whether NAB authorities were competent to re-initiate the proceedings against the respondents.

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