LAHORE - Lahore High Court Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik on Wednesday constituted a larger bench to hear a 25-year-old money laundering case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, Justice Ayesha A Malik of the LHC had referred the case to the chief justice to constitute a larger bench. Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree had filed the petition some 25 years ago, submitting that Nawaz Sharif had shifted billions of rupees abroad at different times.

He had alleged in the petition that Nawaz Sharif had misused his powers and made a number of appointments in violation of merit. The petitioner said that his two sons had also obtained British citizenship and were running businesses there. Nawaz Sharif, the petitioner said, was also involved in selling plots worth millions of rupees against billions of rupees.

He alleged Nawaz Sharif had shifted $7 billion in foreign accounts. He said, “Nawaz Sharif is not eligible to hold any office under articles 62, 63 and 2-A of the Constitution.” The petitioner prayed to the court to restrain Nawaz from contesting election and holding any public office. He also sought constitution of a larger bench comprising seven judges of the LHC to hear the case.

In 2010, a bench, headed by former Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry, heard the petition and decided that a bench comprising more than five judges should hear the case.