ISLAMABAD -  A new bench of the Supreme Court will take up on Tuesday the National Accountability Bureau’s appeal against the Lahore High Court judgment regarding the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case involving the Sharif family.

The three-member bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, will hear the case. The NAB has prayed to the apex court to allow it to reopen the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

On November 13, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa had separated himself from the three-member bench, stating that in April 20 judgment on Panama Papers he had given a ruling against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his family and Ishaq Dar.  In pursuant to the five-member bench directives, the NAB prosecutor general in September filed the appeal against LHC judgment in the Hudabiya Paper Mills case.

The NAB has made the management of Hudaibya Paper Mills, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Shamim Akhtar, Sabiha Abbas and Maryam Nawaz respondents, and the federation, through the law and justice secretary, and the Accountability Court-IV Rawalpindi as proforma respondents.

Justice Khosa’s 192-page note had directed the NAB to proceed against Dar in connection with the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference wherein he was not an accused when the said reference was quashed by the LHC that had also barred reinvestigation and set aside Dar’s confessional statement.

Justice Khosa had observed that the NAB did not challenge the LHC verdict before the SC and, incidentally, Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister at that time.

The judge had also said that the reference was quashed by the LHC because in the investigation the Sharifs had not been associated and Dar’s confessional statement had been made before a magistrate and not before the trial court.

The NAB in its appeal has prayed to the apex court to set aside the LHC judgment of November 11, 2014, regarding the Hudaibiya Papers Mills case.

The NAB in 2000 filed a reference against the respondents before the Accountability Court Attock, containing the charge that they remained in possession of a huge amount of ill-gotten wealth, Rs 1,242.732 million, which was unexplained and disproportionate to their known sources of income. The respondents on October 17, 2011, filed a writ petition before the LHC Rawalpindi Bench which quashed the reference. However, the matter was re-investigated, but a division bench of the LHC gave a split decision.

The matter was then sent to a referee judge who observed that one-member of the LHC division bench had rightly quashed the reference and set aside the observation of another member of the bench to re-investigate the matter.

 The NAB did not file an appeal against the referee judge verdict.

The appeal said the LHC judgment was not passed in consonance with the dictums laid down by this court and the referee judge was not competent to set aside the findings of the high court judge regarding re-investigation as has been done in this case.