Panama review petitions: Decision to declare Nawaz disqualified was unanimous, remarks SC

Panama review petitions: Decision to declare Nawaz disqualified was unanimous, remarks SC

Islamabad (Staff Report): A larger bench of Supreme Court on Wednesday started hearing the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s review petitions against the apex court’s July 28 verdict in Panama Papers case.

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif through his petition has argued that the decision passed by the court on July 28 should have been passed by a three-member bench as Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed's jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgment on April 20. The same has been argued in petitions filed by Nawaz’s children, Hassan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar as well as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The counsel of Nawaz Sharif, Khawaja Harris, argued before the court that the final verdict [in the Panama Papers case] by the five-judge bench was not right as two honourable bench members had already given their verdict.

Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that five-member bench was to adjudged the disqualification case under April 20 verdict.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that the judges who declared Nawaz disqualified did not raise objection on July 28 verdict, adding that content of every judge might be different but decision to declare Nawaz disqualified is same.

Nawaz Sharif was declared disqualified on Capital FZE, he said, adding that it is necessary to give right for defence before disqualification.

He said that former premier was not given fair trail in the case as neither show-cause notice was issued not a chance was given to clarify his position.

Haris said that the judgement was signed by those who never heard arguments about FZE Capital, while Justice Azmat remarked that all the judges disqualified the former prime minister on different grounds.

Has Nawaz been disqualified for life under 62 (1) F, the counsel asked. To this, Justice Ejaz said: “We need your assistance on it”.

He contended that appointment of a supervisory judge for NAB reference will affect the basic rights of Nawaz Sharif. How can a transparent trial be conducted under the supervisory judge? he asked.

Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that trial court will be free to decide the case, adding that respondent will have a chance to cross-examine Panama JIT members and witnesses.

Following the request of Sharifs, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday set up a five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosan and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Gulzar Ahmad.

A five-member larger bench had disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding the office of Prime Minister and ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate investigations against the former Prime Minister’s sons, son-in law and his close aide Ishaq Dar.