Hudabiya reference only sought to bring accused under undue pressure: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday declared that Sharif family was denied due process in the Rs1.2 billion Hudaybia case.

The three-judge bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam has issued a 36 page written judgement regarding the dismissal of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) appeal to restore Hudaybia case against the Sharif family.

“We have come to the painful conclusion that the respondents were denied due process. The legal process was abused by keeping the reference pending indefinitely and unreasonably, and the respondents were denied the right to vindicate themselves. The reference served no purpose but to oppress them,” the ruling reads.

SC dismisses NAB’s appeal to reopen Hudaibiya Mills case against Sharifs

The judgment authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa also noted with grave concern the lack of commitment and earnestness on part of  NAB to pursue the case at the relevant time.

“NAB did not produce the accused in court, NAB did not seek to have charges framed against them. NAB did not examine a single witness, nor did it tender evidence. NAB also sought innumerable adjournments,” the detailed verdict says.

“Fortuitously for the accountability bureau, one learned judge permitted re-investigation into the matter, even though NAB had not requested it, and without giving any reason as to why he allowed it,” Justice Isa wrote.

NAB appointment must for Hudabiya review plea

“Under such circumstances, other than to procrastinate still further the agony of respondents, no purpose will be  served to condone the unreasonable and unjustified delayed filing of the petition.”

The court noted that whilst most media houses acted maturely and fairly reported the proceedings, there were some who violated the parameters of factual reporting, broadcasting and printing views of persons who were just interested in one particular outcome.

“The media should not deliberate on a case still under investigation, rather should only accurately report the proceedings,” the judges observed.

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