Al-Arabia Sugar Mills Plea against freezing of assets dismissed
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday dismissed a petition by Al-Arabia Sugar Mills, said to be owned by sons of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, againstfreezing of its assets by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).[TOP]
The NAB-Lahore froze the mills following in assets beyond means inquiry against Suleman Shahbaz and Hamza Shahbaz.
A lawyer appearing on behalf of the mills argued that the NAB chairman had been delegated semijudicial powers and no other officer in the bureau could assume such powers.
He said the powers of chairman were being used by the director general of the NAB-Lahore in violation of the law.
He further argued that shareholders, directors and the suspects before the NAB had no concern with the assets as the company enjoyed a separate legal entity. The company was neither a suspect nor relative of anyone, he added.
The counsel said a refer-ence could not be filed unless the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) conducted an inquiry. He also questioned the legitimacy of the monitoring officer appointed by the NAB in the mills and asked the court to restrain the NAB chairman and its other officials from interfering in the affairs of the sugar mills.
He also urged the court to set aside the impugned decision of freezing assets of the mills taken by the NAB on Nov 25 last.
A division bench headed by Justice Ali Bagar Najafi, however, dismissed the petition for being not maintainable.
The NAB-Lahore DG hadissued orders tofreeze assets of 10 industries of the Sharif family in reference pertaining to assets beyond known sources of income.
They include Ramzan Energy, Sharif Dairy, Chiniot Energy Limited, Crystal Plastic Industry, Al-Arabia Sugar Mills, Sharif Feed Mills, Ramzan Sugar Mills, Sharif Poultry and Sharif Milk Products.