December 4, 2021

In presence of Supreme Court judgement can Hudaibia case be re-opened?

LAHORE: The government has decided to re-investigate the Hudaibia Papers Mills case but can it be re-opened?. According to sources, a meeting of government leaders chaired by PM Imran Khan discussed the issue of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said Monday the federal government has directed relevant institutions to re-investigate the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.”Hudaibiya [mill’s] case is the most important source of corruption of the Sharif family. Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif are the main suspects in this case,” Chaudhry said on Twitter.

Law experts are of opinion that this case cannot be reopened.

Legal expert and former judge Rashid A. Razvi said that Hudaibia Paper Mills case is a dead horse. No matter how many whips are applied, it will not be able to stand.

Shah Khawar Advocate in an interview said that the decision of the Supreme Court could have been much debated. The Supreme Court has the legal way to open the Hudaibia case. “I think the investigation of the case as a result of the decision of the Supreme Court, will be barred and it, maybe the contempt of court proceedings.

Hudaibia case history

In an interview, on the question that the government has said that the Hudabia Paper Mills will be re-investigated, Shah Khawar Advocate said that it started in 1992 and ended in 2000. Later an important thing happened. The matter went to a provision bench of the Lahore High Court to reopen the case and the two judges who were there.

Shah Khawar recalls, They disagreed, one judge said it might be continued and another judge differed and said it should be closed because the Prosecutor general of NAB, had also recommended that the case does not need to be taken further and it should be closed.

“When the decision of the two judges of the LHC  was split, the matter was sent to the referee judge according to the law and the referee judge agreed with the judge that it is not appropriate to continue the investigation.

Shah Khawar said that the bench of the Supreme Court was formed in the tenure of Justice Saqib Nisar, but an interesting process is that the only member in it was Justice Faez Isa.

“Justice Faez Isa delivered the judgment and said it is a close and fast transaction and what is more cannot be criminally investigated.

“Now, the government has decided to re-investigate this case. No doubt, no criminal investigation can be stopped in the existing criminal justice system and in this regard, I think that the decision of the Supreme Court should had been debated, whether SC can stop any criminal investigation?

“Now the problem is since it contains the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and under Article 189 of the Constitution, all the judgments of the Supreme Court in which any opinion is formed on any legal point are bound above all the executive and judicial authorities. I do not understand in the presence of this decision of the Supreme Court, which prosecution agency would violate the apex court’s decision and re-investigated the same case.

Shah Khawar said, “there is a judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in which the judgment of the Lahore High Court has been endorsed and a constitutional petition which was filed against it was also rejected.”

As a result of the decision of the Supreme Court, the investigation of the same case will be prohibited.

Shah Khawar further said, “But let me make it clear that any decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan consisting of two or three judges can be revoked, if it is not legally correct but only if it is upheld. If the Supreme Court of Pakistan takes Suo motuo review and forms a larger bench, then the decision of any of its earlier benches can be reversed. There is no other option.

There are many such cases of Suo motuo reviews. “I think that if there is any legal way in it, it is with the Supreme Court of Pakistan. However, the Supreme Court will first examine the weight of the petition, if it deems it appropriate, then Suo motuo review may take up its jurisdiction in the Supreme Court. It will need a larger bench.”

President PML-N Punjab Rana Sanaullah said that the proceedings in Hudaibia Paper Mills case was started during Musharraf era. There is no evidence in this case except the statement attributed to Ishaq Dar.

Rana further said Hudaibia Paper Mills case against Shahbaz Sharif was made on malicious basis. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the Hudaibia case cannot be re-tried or re-investigated.