Islamabad, Jan. 10 Supreme Court, during Tuesday hearing of talk of the town Panama Papers case, said that it will not set any example by disqualifying prime minister over political speeches.
A five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed the hearing saying that the Supreme Court is a constitutional court, not a trial court.
On occasion, Justice Aijaz-ul-Ahsan said that the decision of prime minister’s innocence will be taken after going through the evidence.
He asked how Nawaz Sharif’s children can be held accountable when their father transferred the money abroad.
Meanwhile, Justice Asif withdrew his observation about implementation of Article 62 and 63.
Justice Khosa apologised for the remark he made on Monday in which he had said to the PTI’s lead counsel Naeem Bokhari, “If we start disqualifying people under this pretext, no one will be spared, not even your clients.”
The judge had been referring to the PTI’s call for disqualification of holders of public office on the basis of statements which are contradictory in nature under Articles 62 and 63.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Naeem Bukhari said that we only have one Supreme Court in Pakistan. He said a lawyer has nothing to do with judicial verdicts.
On the other hand, when the PTI counsel present an investigation report by then additional FIA DG Rehman Malik regarding the money laundering of Sharif family in 1996, the bench observed that the report cannot be included as evidence.
PTI lawyer Naeem Bukhari told the court that former Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s report reveals ‘money trail’ source.
Justice Gulzar remarked that how Rehman Malik can make report as his own name is also in Panama Leaks.
“You are asking us to violate the oath,” Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh told the PTI counsel. “Please address us and not the nation,” he further said to Bukhari.
Bokhari also alleged that the report proves money laundering allegations against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
In response, the court reminded Bokhari that the Panamagate case is restricted to the London flats.
Justice Aijaz Afzal advised PTI counsel Naeem Bokhari to approach NAB to reopen the Hudaibiyah Paper Mills case. He added that the SC could direct NAB to investigate cases, but it is not in the apex court’s jurisdiction to ask the NAB to investigate references.
“The sanctity of the court needs to be maintained at all costs, do not take us out of our parameters,” he warned.
“We will only hear the case within the limits of Article 184/3,” a Justice Aijaz said. Article 184 pertains to the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Bukhari told the Supreme Court that Hassan Nawaz established a company in the UK in the year 2000. To this, the bench raised questions regarding how the premier’s son established a company in 2000 as he was studying till 1999.
During the hearing, the court reminded Bokhari that a ruling cannot be based on newspaper clippings submitted as ‘evidence’, to which the PTI counsel responded saying that the court has ruled on the basis of newspaper clippings in the past.
Justice Azmat Saeed asked Bokhari if any other court in the world has given a ruling based on the Panama Papers to which the PTI’s lead counsel responded saying that the SC should take the first step and set an example.
Later, Sharif family’s lawyer told the court that Lahore High Court had disposed of Federal Investigation Agency’s FIR over which, Justice Aijaz-ul-Ahsan said that the bench cannot give verdict on dismissed FIA’s report.
The court adjourned the case till today (Wednesday).