LAHORE - A writ petition Tuesday was filed in the Lahore High Court for fresh hearing of an alleged money laundering case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Barrister Syed Javed Iqbal Jafree had filed the petition and submitted that he did not want to appear before the two judges of a five-member bench but the two members did not alienate themselves from the bench and announced the verdict.

The petitioner said that they first announced the verbal order and after 25 days, issued written order which was unlawful.

Barrister Jafree pleaded the judge to constitute a new full bench for fresh hearing of the alleged money laundering case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

NAB plea dismissed: The Lahore High Court dismissed Tuesday an appeal filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against acquittal of former minister for petroleum Anwar Saifullah Khan in 2000 Mehran Gas reference.

A LHC Rawalpindi bench comprising Justice Syed Muhammad Kazim Raza Shamsi and Justice Ali Baqar Najafi passed the order. The bench observed that the officers of directorate gas had admitted that nowhere they found any signatures or initial of Anwar Saifullah Khan.

The court upheld the trial court’s order and observed that the trial court rightly observed that Khan, being minister tried to accommodate different federating units to cater the requirements of remote area and that the government revenue did not suffer in any way. He had not done anything unusual and followed the past practice, the court said.

The bench did not find any exception in the impugned order and dismissed the appeal of the NAB.

On Jan 26, 2002, Rawalpindi Accountability Court had acquitted Saifullah Khan, former minister for petroleum and Natural Resources and Safdar Ali Abbasi of Mehran Gas Company.

Director General (Gas) Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Resources acting director Tajuddin Sherwani had filed a complaint in 1997, and alleged that Mr Khan as minister for petroleum allocated gas from Dhodak Gas Field on personal selection, on the basis of political patronage and extraneous circumstances, to Mr Abbasi of Mehran Gas Company ignoring public sector companies.

Anwar Saifullah Khan was elected to national assembly as well as member Senate, and belonged to Pakistan Muslim League (Junejo Group), which supported Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1993 to form coalition government of Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minster. From 1994 to 96, Mr. Khan was appointed as federal minister for petroleum while in 1994 he was elected as member of Senate.