Pak court adjourns till Feb 10 hearing of plea against Sharifs

The petition is asking for recovery of loans worth about Rs 3 bn from Nawaz Sharif and his relatives.

Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 13:47 PM IST

Lahore: A Pakistani court has adjourned till February 10 the hearing of a petition filed by a
consortium of banks for recovering loans worth about Rs 3 billion (over USD 35 million) from former premier Nawaz Sharif and his relatives.

Earlier, a committee formed by the Lahore High Court
submitted its recommendations about winding up business firms
for which the loans were taken and the banks sought time from
the court to review this option.

The National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank, United
Bank, Zarai Taraqiati Bank of Pakistan, Muslim Commercial
Bank, Picic Bank, First Punjab Mudarba and Corporate Law
Authority filed the petition against Sharif and his kin in the
High Court.

The petitioners asked the court during a hearing
yesterday to issue orders for the recovery of the loans
through auction of Ittefaq Foundries, Ittefaq Textile Mills
and Khalid Siraj Industries, all firms owned by the Sharifs,
as they had failed to fulfil financial commitments made
against the loans advanced to them.

Earlier, the High Court had ordered the sale of these

However, the decision was challenged by Mian Meraj
Din, a shareholder in Ittefaq Group and Sharif`s uncle, on the
ground that such an auction would violate Section 284 of the
Companies Ordinance.

Four firms, including Ittefaq Foundries, Ittefaq
Brothers and Brother Steel Mills, were handed over by the
Sharif family to the banks but the banks rejected the move and
demanded payment in cash.

The Sharifs are facing severe criticism for getting
bank loans written off in the past and for not paying income
tax they are liable to pay under the law.

Reports said Sharif, who heads the PML-N party, paid
only Rs 5,000 (USD 600) as income tax last year.