Pak court orders release of Sharif family`s assets
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 23:38
Lahore: A Pakistani court on Tuesday ordered an anti-corruption agency to release all properties of former premier Nawaz Sharif's family that were seized on the directions of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

A bench of the Lahore High Court comprising Justices Mansoor Ali Shah and Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan issued the order while disposing of seven appeals filed by members of the Sharif family, including PML-N chief Nawaz and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, against the National Accountability Bureau.

The court directed the NAB to return shares certificates worth Rs 100 million, prize bonds of Rs 115 million, documents pertaining to a plot of land in Murree, the Chaudhry Sugar Mills, the Hudabiya Engineering Services, the Hamza Shipping Corporation and Ramzan Sugar Mills.

The NAB counsel informed the court that all the properties were seized on the directions of the then federal government in 2001.

Following this, the court observed that NAB had no authority to seize the property of a citizen after his acquittal in cases.

The bench was hearing seven identical appeals by members of the Sharif family, who had sought the release of their property seized by the NAB.

The Sharif family contended that the NAB was not releasing their properties in order to recover a fine imposed by anti-corruption court and an anti-terrorism court on Nawaz Sharif in two separate cases even when the convictions had been set aside by the Supreme Court in October 2000.

Initially, these appeals were filed in the Rawalpindi bench of the High Court. They were later transferred to the principal seat in Lahore as no bench was available to hear them in Rawalpindi.

On July 22, 2000, an anti-corruption court had sentenced Nawaz to rigorous imprisonment for 14 years and directed him to pay a fine of Rs 20 million in a case related to illegal purchase of a helicopter.

In another case in which Sharif was accused of hijacking a plane that was bringing Musharraf back to the country, an anti-terrorism court had convicted him on April 6, 2000, and awarded him life imprisonment and ordered the seizure of his movable and immovable property.

The convictions were later set aside by the Supreme Court in October 2000.

The appellants said that despite their conviction being set aside by the apex court, the NAB was not releasing their properties and had instead resorted to coercive measures against them.


First Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 23:38

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