Panama leaks: SC asks govt, PTI for TORs to form commission

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing of five constitutional petitions seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif till Nov 3 and asked PML-N and PTI to submit their Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the formation of a commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks, Aaj News reported. 

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.

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

“The commission will report to the Supreme Court,” the chief justice said. He added that the commission will have the same authority as the top court.

“SC has decided to resolve the issue of Panama leaks,” Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali said while asking both parties to ‘show restraint’.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the petitions on Panama Papers.

A petition filed by the PTI demands an inquiry be initiated against the prime minister and his family on the matter of Panama Papers.

Another petition filed by the Jamaat-e-Islami demands Federal Board of Revenue and National Accountability Bureau be asked to investigate all Pakistani companies named in the Panama Papers.

Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League has demanded that a commission be formed to investigate the allegations in the Panama Papers.

During the hearing, the chief justice said that the Panama Leaks issue is related to fundamental rights and is of public importance. Further, Justice Khosa observed that the entire nation is suffering due to this matter. “None of the federal investigation agencies are willing to probe into the matter,” he noted.

The bench expressed displeasure over the premier and his family’s lawyers not submitting a written reply over the petitions in this matter. CJP Jamali remarked that the decision of the commission will be considered as the court’s ruling and will be binding upon all parties.

In his remarks, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said the case will be heard on daily basis. The hearing has been adjourned till 11:30pm on November 3.

-Radio Pakistan/ Aaj News