The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday (today) resumed hearing of the Panama Papers leaks case.
A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, resumed the hearing.
Under the supervision of Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, it was the eighth hearing on Panama Leaks case. Up till now PM Nawaz and his children; Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz have filed their official response on offshore companies and their flats in London.
Justice Jamali was responding to Jamaat-i-Islami’s request of creating an inquiry commission with the mandate to investigate the matter.
On Dec 3, Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq submitted a fresh application with a request to constitute an inquiry commission and make a party in the case all the family members, including children, companies and business entities of those whose names had surfaced in the leaks about offshore holdings.
The application requested the court to order the Federal Board of Revenue as well as the Election Commission of Pakistan to submit the copies of tax returns, including details of assets in and out of the country, along with the copies of relevant documents, before the court and the commission of all those who became parties in the case.
During the hearing, the chief justice added that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) do not operate effectively. He added that “if these institutions do not want to work, why don’t we shut them down”.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali said the court was keeping an open mind on the idea of forming a commission on Panamagate, saying it will make one when it feels the need for it.
Also today, Nawaz Sharif’s children submitted a petition in the apex court requesting for daily hearings of the case. “The issue is very critical and institutions are getting affected,” stated the petition, which was submitted through senior counsel Akram Sheikh who is representing Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s counsel Naeem Bokhari started his arguments by going into details about Maryam Nawaz’s financial situation.
During the proceedings, Justice Saeed Khosa raised three questions from the prime minister’s counsel about the companies owning London flats.
- How did the children establish these companies?
- Explain, who is dependent on whom?
- Whether the facts in prime minister’s speeches are true or not?
In his arguments, PM’s lawyer Salman Aslam Butt said the petitioners have failed to provide evidence that the companies were formed illegally. To this, Justice Khosa remarked that after accepting the ownership of companies, the burden of proof lies upon you.
PTI lawyer, Naeem Bukhari, continued his arguments against the Sharif Family contention that they bought flats in 2006.
Both the petitioners, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, and the defendants, the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, requested the larger bench to hold day-to-day proceedings.
At the outset of the court session, senior counsel Naeem Bokhari recommenced on behalf of the PTI his arguments before the five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.
A request for daily hearings has become all the more necessary since Advocate Salman Aslam Butt, who represents the prime minister, has sought an adjournment of the case from Dec 12 to 19, according to PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry.
The chief justice would reach superannuation on Dec 30, but his farewell reference would be held on Dec 15, Mr Chaudhry told media. “Thus we can assume that the chief justice may not be available on the bench after the middle of this month,” he said.
Read more: Contradiction in PM Nawaz’s response in court and speeches: Supreme Court