Petition to reinvestigate Hudaibya Paper Mills case rejected: SC issues verdict

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued written order on the petition of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding Hudaibya Paper Mills case, ruling against the reinvestigation of the reference.
The apex court said in its 36-page verdict that the ruling of Lahore High Court was correct, adding that the NAB reference aimed at pressurising respondents.
The order reads, “The References were based on an anonymous complaint.”
“The Accountability Court was set up in Attock Fort, which was under the control of the Military and to which there was no public access.”
Read full verdict of the Supreme Court in Hudaibya Paper Mills case:
It was argued that respondents were never produced before the accountability court by the anti-graft body.
The top court ruled that the JIT report referred the offense to be “money laundering” in 1991-1992 while the act was made an offence in the country after Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance in 2007. “Neither in the years 1991-1992 nor when the References were filed, in the year 2000, did money laundering constitute an offence,” the order said.
It mentioned that the said respondents in Hudaibya Paper Mills case were denied the right to vindicate themselves.
The three-member bench of the Supreme Court, including Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, justified their verdict by writing that the statement of Ishaq Dar “was not a statement under section 164 of the Code, but one under 26 of the NAB Ordinance providing tender of pardon to plea-bargaining”.
Referring to the amended section 26 (e) of the NAB Ordinance, it mentioned that an amendment was passed in the ordinance to record Dar’s statement to before a magistrate, rather than the NAB Chairman or Accountability Court. Moreover, the Dar’s statement was not recorded in the presence of Sharif family which is essential under section 164 of the Code.
According to the verdict, the state and those who have the physical custody of an accused are responsible to produce them in court, and they have no right to exile them. The top court argued that suspects in state’s custody can be punished with rigorous imprisonment for up to ten years.