ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday resumed hearing of Panama Papers case, focus returned to the matter of Maryam Nawaz’s dependence status, Aaj News reported.
Resuming his arguments on the 11th hearing of the Panamagate case before a five-member larger bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, the Prime Minister’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan said, Maryam Nawaz is not dependent of the Prime Minister.
Khan maintained that Maryam Nawaz’s name was listed as the PM’s dependent on tax forms because there was no other column on the sheet. “The purpose of writing her name on the form was not to declare her a dependent,” the lawyer argued.
Khan told the court that the accusations of tax evasion made against the Prime Minister are incorrect. PM’s counsel accepts that the PM had given gifts to his children but those gifts had been transferred through banks.
On which, Justice Azmat asked, “From what business is so much money coming in? Has the father ever ask his sons where the money is coming from?”
The counsel told the court that the money is coming in from the businesses of the premier’s sons.
“What is the reason for giving the amount as a gift,” Justice Ijaz ul hasan asked.
Justice Gulzar Ahmed inquired that why bank records were not attested. You must have submitted documents in the court along with the reply, Justice Gulzar added.
Khan informed the court that it was a tough process to obtain certificates from all the banks. We do not want to hide anything from the court, he claimed.
At this point Justice Ejaz Afzal said that if the court accepts unverified documents, the documents of the other party should have to be accepted as well. The criteria for both the parties will be the same, he added.
The Prime Minister’s counsel argued that everyone has the right to keep his bank details private.
Later, the hearing was postponed till January 19 (Thursday).
In last hearing on Tuesday, PM’s counsel contended that Article 19 of the Constitution guaranteed freedom of expression to everyone.
To which, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa observed that his client’s case doesn’t come under the preview of Article 19, adding that the Article guarantees right to express, whereas the counsel was seeking immunity in the case. Justice Khosa further remarked the court is not prosecuting the Prime Minister on the basis of his speech in the Parliament saying the court is deliberating on whether it could examine the Prime Minister’s speech or not in the current case.
Referring the Prime Minister’s counsel’s argument that proceedings of the Parliament cannot be adjudicated in the court, Justice Khosa observed the apex court had declared in a case that speech to the members of the Parliament could be used as evidence.