SC expresses reservation over admissibility of Panama Papers case

ISLAMABAD   -   The Supreme Court of Pakistan Friday ex­pressed reservation over admissibility of Ja­maat-e-Islami petition related to the Panama Papers scandal filed un­der Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

A two-member bench of the apex court com­prising Justice Tariq Masood and Justice Aminuddin Khan con­ducted hearing of Ja­maat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Sirajul Haq’s petition, seeking an investigation against 436 Pakistanis named in Panama Papers leaks. During the proceed­ing Justice Masood said that in 2017, the matter was delinked on JI coun­sel’s request. At that time, the Supreme Court gave verdict against only one man (former prime minis­ter Nawaz Sharif).

Justice Masood asked the lawyer why he did not request the bench at that time to investigate and hear the case against all 436 people named in the papers. The JI lawyer re­quested the court to or­der NAB to investigate the case. On it, the judge asked him whether he moved NAB or any other insti­tution to investigate the case during the last sev­en years. Justice Masood questioned if it was the duty of the Supreme Court to do everything? How can the court order an inves­tigation against 436 peo­ple without giving them notice? He said, though the question of maintain­ability would have been relevant but vide SC or­der dated 03-11-2016, the issue of maintain­ability has been decided with the consent of all the counsels of the petition­ers and the respondents. Justice Aminuddin Khan said that they are not tak­ing any suo motu. He add­ed, “We will adjudicate and after hearing the par­ties, will decide the case.” The bench framed sever­al questions and asked the JI lawyer Ishtiaq Ahmed Raja to file their replies in one-month time. It made queries whether the peti­tions are relevant for the tax authorities; wheth­er FBR, State Bank of Pa­kistan and Foreign Ex­change laws relevant in this case and how money was sent abroad by these persons?

JI counsel sought time to answer these questions and the bench adjourned the case for one month.

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