LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday sought reply for October 12 from the Sharif family on petition of several banks seeking auction of four units of Ittefaq Group to return loan of about Rs3 billion which taken by family of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. About eight banks had advanced a collective loan of Rs3.11 billion to the Ittefaq Group of Industries between 1982 and 1998. In most cases the loan was not paid back and the banks added the mark-up charges to the actual credit. The case has been pending for years in the court. Now the banks had filed an application for early hearing of case and the court sought reply from the Sharif family on the application. The National Bank of Pakistan and other banks are seeking sale of the Ittefaq Foundries, Brothers Steel at Kot Lakhpat, Ittefaq Brothers at Shahdara and Ilyas Enterprises at Bund Road Lahore. These units were surrendered by former prime minister Nawaz Sharifs family against bank liabilities for adjustment of loan. But the Mian Meraj Din family and Colony Group of Industries challenged these orders. Applicants said it was in violation of the Companies Ordinance, which provides for rehabilitation and restructuring of the units and distribution of assets among shareholder families was pending adjudication in a separate case due to which the auction could not take place. The court had cancelled the deal between Al-Rehmat Group of Industries and the sales committee on October 12, 2004 for purchase of the three units for Rs2.15 billion, and called lawyers of the shareholder families to prepare a consensus list of terms and conditions for the auction. The consensus agreement has given the court the leverage to either order sale of the units or arranges a settlement between both parties.