Accountability Court Judges Judges Masood Arshad, Mohammad Naeem Arshad, and Mushtaq Elahi, who were hearing cases against senior leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were repatriated to the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday.
According to a notification issued in this regard, the LHC chief justice had repatriated the judges on the basis of a notification was issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice on August 26. The judges were asked to report to the court for further orders. The notice did not mention any specific reason for the repatriation of the said judges.
Judge Masood Arshad had been hearing the narcotics case against former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah but had stopped the hearing after being informed of his repatriation on August 28.
Judge Mohammad Naeem Arshad had been presiding over cases against multiple members of the Sharif family due to the unavailability of the main judge. He was hearing the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case against PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her cousin Yousuf Abbas; the Ramzan Sugar Mills case against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif; and money laundering cases against Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz and Salman Shehbaz.
Judge Mushtaq Elahi was hearing multiple National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases but none of them were high-profile in nature.
It is worth mentioning here that the notification for the judges’ repatriation was issued the day a seven-member administration committee of the LHC held a closed-door meeting to decide the fate of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik, who had been repatriated to LHC by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justice for further investigation.
Speaking to the media after the development, the counsel for Sanaullah said that it appears that the government is trying to hand-pick judges to gain a favourable verdict.