Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ittefaq Foundries: LHC verdict set aside

Announcing its reserved judgement against a Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict that had released the guarantor of Ittefaq Foundries in the Rs 1.06 billion loan case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted the plea of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed 14 years ago. A three-member bench led by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali had reserved its judgement in response to a NAB appeal against a Lahore High Court verdict in the matter.

NAB had arrested a Director of Ittefaq Foundries, Dr Mukhtar, who was a guarantor of a loan; however, his wife challenged his arrest in the Lahore High Court (LHC). An LHC bench directed NAB to release the guarantor after which the NAB challenged High Court''s verdict in the apex court.

NAB had filed a reference against M/s Ittefaq Foundries, Lahore, for defaulting on Rs 1.06 billion loan by the Sharif family in 1998. NAB contended that on June 11, 1998 the then Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, in a public address, stated that he had handed over the assets of his family to banks to pay back the loans of the Sharif family.

The reference added that pursuant to this announcement of Nawaz Sharif, a petition was filed in the court through creditor banks against the company. Setting aside the LHC judgement in the matter, the Supreme Court ruled that not only was Dr Mukhtar a Director of Ittefaq Foundry Ltd he was also its guarantor.

"The upshot of the above discussion is that this appeal is allowed and the judgement of the three Honourable Members of the Bench of the Lahore High Court, passed in Writ Petition No 914/2000 of June 30, 2000, is set aside. However, any further proceedings against respondent No 2 (Dr Mukhtar) in NAB Reference No 8/2000, will be subject to the fate of the appeal pending before the Lahore High Court," the verdict concluded.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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