SC directs Prime Minister to submit reply over Panama Leaks case in two days

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed the Prime Minister and his family to submit their reply over the Panama Leaks case in two days.

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The hearing has been adjourned till November 3 at 11:30 pm.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has agreed to the formation of a commission to probe the Panama Leaks scandal, his lawyer Salman Butt informed the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court resumed hearing the Panama Leaks case after a two hour recess on Tuesday. The apex court had asked both PTI chairman Imran Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to tell the court if they would abide by the decision of a commission on the Panama Leaks.

According to sources, the PTI has also agreed over the formation of a commission based on the terms of reference of the joint opposition

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali resumed hearing of five petitions regarding the Panama Leaks case including two petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf calling for the disqualification of the prime minister.

During proceedings, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said the apex court would hear this case on a daily basis.

The SC maintained that all parties will be given an opportunity to state their point. The bench said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf should adopt a more responsible approach towards the issue adding that all eyes were on this high-profile case.

Justice Khosa observed that no state institution including the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated an investigation into the Panama Leaks case. He added that if an individual cannot justify his assets according to his income then an inquiry should be initiated.

Justice Hani said if money from the country is going abroad then NAB can intervene.

The court told the attorney general representing the Sharif family that he should file a response today. If he fails to do so, the court said, it will consider the lawyer has nothing to say.

Complete faith in Supreme Court: Asif

PML-N leader and the country’s defence minister Khawaja Asif said his party had complete confidence in the apex court.

“Whether the court forms a commission or takes any other step, we have complete confidence in it,” Asif said.

The PML-N leader further said that people should be freed from the politics of protesting.

PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry said that in 2014 as well PTI staged a protest claiming that the elections were rigged. “A probe into the issue found out that there was no rigging. Why does the PTI want to settle court matters out on the streets.”

Our lawyer will present our point of view: Qureshi

PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaking to the media said that their lawyer Hamid Khan will present their point of view in the apex court.

Earlier said he was going to Bani Gala to hold consultations on Supreme Court proceedings and would be returning within two hours.

Earlier, speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said they had come expecting the judiciary to defend their constitutional right. He added that the entire nation was seeing how the fundamental rights of elected representatives were being violated.

The PTI leader said the entire nation had seen the Federal and Punjab governments violate the law yesterday (Monday). “There are checkpoints all the way from Bani Gala to the Supreme Court,” he added.

SC hears Panama Leaks petitions

PTI chairman Imran Khan, in his petition, contended that PM Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar should be declared ‘ineligible’. The petition further read that the interior ministry should place the names of PM and his family members on the Exit Control List (ECL).

“NAB should be directed to recover the looted money and rights of properties purchased through this sum,” the petition adds.

A petition filed by Tariq Asad Advocate seeks formation of a judicial commission to probe different offshore companies owned by different Pakistanis and money-laundering. He moved the court to direct NAB and FIA to file their report after completing investigations into the matter.

“The court should order punishment to those involved in money laundering and tax evasion,” the petition read.

The emir of Jamat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq has also filed a petition with the apex court requesting it to order NAB and FIA to bring back illegally sent money abroad and arrest of culprits.

Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed has also filed a similar petition in the SC demanding a commission be formed to investigate the allegations surfacing after the Panama Papers leaks.

Earlier, the Supreme Court issued notices to all parties including the Prime Minister.

Apart from the prime minister, the SC issued notices to Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz, Captain Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Notices were also issued to Imran Khan, FBR chairman, NAB chief, ECP, Cabinet Division, Ministry of Interior and others.

PTI has given a call for a massive protest in Islamabad on November 2, in a final showdown aimed at forcing PM Nawaz to step down and present himself for accountability in the wake of Panama Papers disclosures.

The PTI is adamant to go forth with its planned ‘lockdown’ of the federal capital. Party leaders and workers have been making efforts for past two days to converge on Bani Gala residence of chairman Imran Khan to pressure Nawaz government to surrender to their demands.

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