LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the federal government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit replies on an appeal filed by Sharif family challenging reopening of Ittefaq Foundry reference against them.

Justice Sardar Shamim Khan passed this order as referee judge after Justice Shiekh Najmul Hassan declined the hearing of the matter. Former Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had appointed Justice Hassan as ‘referee judge’ who allowed appeal against reopening of two references including Hudeiya Papers Mills and Jati Umra land purchase at that time.

Justice Bandial appointed Justice Najmul Hassan as referee judge when a division bench dealing with the matter of Sharif family at Rawalpindi bench gave strict observations on a law point.

The division bench showed its differences on a point whether there was no need or requirement to give observations that NAB authorities were competent to proceed against the petitioners if investigation was again initiated.

Sharif family’s counsel Ashtar Ausaf argued that the NAB had made the references on direction of then military ruler Pervez Musharraf to politically victimise his clients. He said the references could not be reopened. He said that the Sharif family was just implicated in the case. The referee judge would hold the proceedings on September 11.

Witnesses summoned in

Sarabjit Singh case

A sessions court on Tuesday summoned prosecution witnesses in Sarabjit Singh’s murder case, with directions to DSP legal to ensure appearance of the witness on Sept 20.

Additional District and Sessions judge Shahzeb Saeed was holding the trial of two murder suspects by video-link involved in the killing of Indian condemned prisoner Singh.

In his order, the judge also directed Kot Lakhpat Station House Officer to be present in the court on next hearing. The suspects Amir Tamba and Mudassar were already indicted in the case. They were fellow prisoners of Singh and allegedly tortured him to death in May 2013.

LHC moved for LG polls

A miscellaneous application has been filed in the Lahore High Court seeking directions for the government to announce local bodies’ elections immediately.

Judicial Activism Penal through its chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique filed the plea on Tuesday and submitted that delay in announcement of holding local bodies’ elections in Punjab and other provinces was illegal. He said this negligence on the part of the authorities concerned was also creating serious problems for the people.

The counsel argued that the Supreme Court had already ordered the government to announce the date for local bodies’ elections but nothing was done so far, which was tantamount to the contempt of court.

He pleaded the court to direct the government to announce the date for local bodies’ elections and for the implementation of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution on the candidates who would take part in the elections.