Saturday, 7 February 2015

LHC sets aside NAB references against Ittefaq Group

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday set aside the references filed by NAB against Ittefaq Group owned by Sharif family about loan of various banks worth billions of rupees. With the court decision, Ittefaq Group won the case against various banks. A consortium of eight banks had sanctioned a collective loan of Rs 970 millions to Ittefaq Group of industries between 1982 and 1998.

In most cases, the loan was not paid back and the banks had added Rs 4 billion as mark up amount. The banks, which had filed suits in the courts, included National Bank of Pakistan, United Bank, Bank of Punjab, Zari Taraqiati Bank, NIB Bank, Habib Bank, Allied Bank, PICIS banks and Punjab Mudaraba Bank.

Earlier the Gorup''s counsel pleaded that all the loans had been paid back to the banks and no loan against any company of Ittefaq Group was outstanding. He said that the foundry had cleared complete liabilities of banks along with the mark-up. He said the recovery had been made and the contentions of the NAB authorities were wrong from the day one.

The petitioner''s counsel contended that the cases against Sharif family were made on the directions of the former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his clients were intentionally implicated in the cases. Prosecutor General Punjab Waqas Qadeer Dar appeared on behalf of the NAB and argued that no final verdict was given by any authority in the favour of the Group. Upon which, Ashtar Ausaf produced the clearance certificates of various banks before the court showing that the all loan had been paid back to the banks and now the banks had to pay to the family as the value of the properties sold out was more than the loan given to the family.

The law officer admitted that the recovery had been completed. However, he said, they did not receive clearance certificates. Earlier, a two-member bench had failed to reach consensus on the issue, thereafter the matter was referred to the referee judge for the final decision on it.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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