Ousted PM Nawaz Sharif moves SC against Panamagate verdict

  • A 34-page petition states the 5-member bench had no power to hear Imran Khan’s plea
  • On July 28, 2017, the apex court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif for not disclosing his employment with FZE Capital

ISLAMABAD – Nawaz Sharif has filed three petitions in the Supreme Court to review the Panamagate verdict, announced by a five-member bench last month, which led to his ouster from PM House.

The petitions were filed by Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Harris on Tuesday, asking the apex court to dismiss the applications of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, AML chief Sheikh Rasheed, and JI chief Sirajul Haq.

A 34-page petition states the 5-member bench had no power to hear Imran Khan’s plea.

Among the petition, a stay application has also been filed to stop implementation on SC’s decision in Panamagate case.

Nawaz, through his appeal, has argued that the July 28 decision should have been given by a three-member bench since Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed’s jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgement on April 20.

“By signing the the final order of the court” on July 28, Justice Ahmed and Justice Khosa “have actually passed two judgments in the same case, which is unprecedented in judicial history,” the appeal says.

“On the face of the record, there are four final judgements passed in this case; the first of these final judgements being the minority judgement dated 20.04.2017 of the two members of the originally constituted 5-member bench, the second being the majority judgement dated 20.04.2017 passed by the 3-member bench, the third judgement […] dated 29.07.2017 again passed by the 3-member bench of this court, and the fourth being the Final Order of the Court dated 28.07.2017 passed by the originally constituted 5-member bench,” says the appeal.

The five-member bench that made the unanimous July 28 decision, which resulted in ouster of Sharif, will hear the review petitions.

Sharif’s lawyer has also submitted relevant documents concerning the iqama – a United Arab Emirates work visa – that led the judges to declare Nawaz “unfit to hold office”.

Panama Case verdict: Supreme Court disqualifies PM Nawaz Sharif

Five more appeals are expected to be filed soon by Sharif’s sons – Hassan and Hussain Nawaz; his daughter Maryam Nawaz; Captain Safdar; and Ishaq Dar.

On July 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had disqualified Nawaz Sharif for not disclosing his employment with FZE Capital, in a landmark decision in the Panamagate case.

Nawaz Sharif immediately stepped down from his post and has just returned to his hometown Lahore leading a mammoth rally of his supporters from Murree where he spent his days following the SC decision.

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Panama Papers verdict

On April 20, Supreme Court’s Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had announced Panama Leaks case decision comprising of 540 pages, saying that the court issued a split ruling calling for a JIT. Two of the five judges went further, branding Sharif “dishonest” and saying he should be disqualified. However, the 3-2 split decision provided Sharif family a chance to prove their innocence and clear their names from Panama leaks.

Following the decision, the apex court formed a six-member inquiry team that included Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Additional Director General Wajid Zia, Military Intelligence’s Brig Kamran Khurshid, National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Director Irfan Naeem Mangi, State Bank of Pakistan’s Amer Aziz, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) Executive Director Bilal Rasool and Inter-Services Intelligence’s Brig Muhammad Nauman Saeed.

The JIT members, during the seven-week period, interrogated eight members of Sharif family including Nawaz Sharif, his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif, sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Captain Safdar, cousin Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and brother-in-law Ishaq Dar and submitted its report on July 10.

On July 29, the five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan after a week-long hearings unanimously disqualified Nawaz Sharif.

“It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”