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.