Chief justice refuses to form judicial commission on Panama Papers
The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sharif’s children Hasan Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.
The chief justice responded to the government letter, saying that formation of commission was impossible in view of the terms of references laid out by the government.
He said a considerable amount of time was required to form a commission under current ToRs.
On April 22, the government had written a letter to the Supreme Court’s registrar to form a commission to probe the Panama leaks.
The terms of reference of the letter state that the commission will investigate former and current holders of public office. The terms also state that all provincial and federal institutions will be bound to cooperate with the commission. It is also stated that the commission would receive documents on affidavits and with regard to the person who is submitting the documents, can even establish a commission for further discussion.
“I have decided to set up a high level judicial commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. This commission will decide after its investigation that what is reality and how much weight these allegations should be given,” Sharif said in a TV address broadcast nationwide.
PM Sharif had also pledged to resign if a probe related to the Panama Papers tax scandal found his family had committed any wrongdoing.