Monday, August 15, 2022

Panamagate Case: SC asks PTI, govt for ToRs to form commission


ISLAMABAD: Adjourning the Panamagate hearing until November 3, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has sought written suggestions from both the parties in the case on Terms of References (TORs) and commission.

If no consensus was made on the TORs between the opposition and the government, the court said, it would come up with its own ToRs in the case.

The court asked the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to submit an answer within two days.

Earlier, Imran Khan’s counsel Hamid Khan in his arguments before the Supreme Court bench said that according to leaked papers of the law firm Mossack Fonseca, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hassan, Hussain and daughter Mariam Nawaz own offshore companies.

The PTI counsel was presenting his arguments before a five-judge Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Hassan.

The court proceedings of the Panama Papers case has begun just a day ahead of the anticipated lockdown of Islamabad by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Special security measures have been taken to ensure smooth proceedings.

Hamid Khan in his arguments said that the law firm Mossack Fonseca has been based in Panama, a group of journalists ICIJ had leaked the bank papers of the politicians of that firm. He said the leaks of the documents and their authenticity have not been questioned.

The lawyer said that the ICIJ has confirmed the offshore companies of the prime minister’s children Hassan, Hussain and Mariam Nawaz.

Justice Khosa asked if any action taken against the journalists involved in the leaks. Hamid Khan expressed his ignorance. The lawyer said the two companies Nescon and Nelson are owned by Mariam Safdar with an address of Sarwar Palace in Jeddah.

Earlier, another petitioner Sirajul Haq informed the bench that his lawyer could not reach the court due to hurdles in Islamabad.

The court said it would decide on a commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks after getting assurances from both the government and the PTI that they will agree to the idea, after which it adjourned the hearing for two hours for the lawyers so as they could consult with their clients.

The petitions have been filed by Advocate Tariq Asad, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Petitioners have pleaded to the apex court for the appointment of a judicial commission to investigate the investment made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family in offshore investment companies.

PTI chairman Imran Khan was not present in the Supreme Court’s hearing today.


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