ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan adjourned hearing a slew of petitions seeking a probe into Panama Leaks till Monday.
Jamaat-e-Islami took the floor to kick off arguments regarding London flats and offshore companies of Sharif family after both Sharif family and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf completed their arguments.
JI’s lawyer Tauseef Asif stated before the larger bench that PM’s speech was an admittance of his crime. He said that PTI’s counsel gave his points regarding the conflict between different statements of premier Nawaz Sharif.
Tauseef Asif maintained that the premier admitted purchasing London flats between 1993 to 1996. He went on and said that the Sharif family set up steel mills in Dubai but kept quiet regarding the investment for that factory.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that JI was building an entirely different case from PTI as it was suggesting that there was ‘admittance rather than any conflict’ between the different statements of premier.
‘There was no evidence or document available suggesting any conflict of interest regarding the premier’ said Justice Azmat Saeed.
JI’s counsel referred to Zafar Ali Shah case but soon took back his arguments realising that he referred to arguments of lawyers instead of remarks of judges for that particular case.
Justice Gulzar instructed JI’s counsel to deal with the case seriously due to its pivotal nature. Justice Azmat categorically remarked that JI’s counsel lied in his application.
JI’s counsel continued his arguments and stated that Nawaz Sharif clarified his personal position regarding the allegations in his speech.
The apex court adjourned the hearing till Monday.
Meanwhile talking to newsmen outside Supreme Court, JI Ameer Siraj Ul Haq said that the government was trapped badly in Panama case and there was no way left for it except to admit the truth.
‘Our petition is not against any individual, its against corruption’ said Siraj Ul Haq.
On the other hand, minister for information Mariam Aurangzeb reiterated that PM Nawaz did not give misleading statement on any forum adding that false allegations wouldn’t help anyone win the case.
Counsel for Maryam Nawaz, Shahid Hamid on Thursday submitted details regarding her property describing when and how Maryam purchased these properties.
During the last hearing, PM’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan kicked off his arguments by stating that Maryam Nawaz was not dependent on Nawaz Sharif. He clarified that Nawaz Sharif purchased property in Maryam’s name, and when Maryam paid the due amount, the ownership of land was transferred.
Makhdoom Ali Khan argued that every transaction can not be termed as ‘Benami’ as there was a proper legal definition set for such transactions.
He clarified that Shahid Hamid would argue on the issue of trust deed regarding London flats.
Justice Aijaz Afzal remarked that the record apparently suggests that Maryam was dependent on her father Nawaz Sharif. He observed that the apex court would interpret the issue of dependency regarding the particular Panama case.
‘How can the court pass verdict on the basis of assumptions which would have consequences in future’ remarked justice Aijaz Afzal.
He went on and expressed that usually father hands over property to his dependent children.
justice Asif Khosa in a categoric statement remarked that setting up offshore companies was not illegal, but concealing assets and tax was definitely illegal. He went on and maintained that the case was of public importance.
However, Makhdoom Ali Khan argued that tax can not be evaded but it can only be saved through offshore companies.
‘Roosevelt hotel and New York hotels were set up as offshore assets to avoid tax’ said Makhdoom Ali Khan however, he admitted that Nawaz Sharif could be disqualified as member of national assembly but not as premier referring to the case of Mehmood Akhter Naqvi case.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the apex court was trying to secure non-controversial documentary evidence while justice Gulzar expressed that the larger bench should be aided in finding out whether the apex court could continue proceedings on the basis of co-warranto.
‘We wish there was more space in the court so that higher number of lawyers could see you argue’ said the larger bench to Makhdoom Ali Khan.
PM’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan also presented book named ‘Capitalism’s Achilles Heel’ before the larger bench.
The apex court adjourned the hearing till Friday.
Meanwhile, talking to newsmen outside Supreme Court, PML-N’s representative Khawaja Asif expressed that it was illegal to discuss court’s proceedings in public. Minister for railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq said that PTI wanted to score politically on Panama issue.