ISLAMABAD – A five-member larger bench adjourned hearing a slew of petitions seeking a probe into Panama papers here till Tuesday.
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Counsel for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif continued his arguments before the apex court to justify the ownership of offshore companies and London flats.
It is worth mentioning that today’s hearing was the first one after a report by BBC suggesting that London flats were purchased in 1990s, contrary to the claims of Sharif family.
PM’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan kicked off his arguments by stating that he would try to wind up debate regarding the conflict in statements and article 62, 63.
He assured the bench of no repetition while clarifying the position of premier Nawaz Sharif and his family. Makhdoom referred to the case of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani who was disqualified in 2012 and added that he was disqualified on the basis of contempt of court.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the apex court directly passed a verdict pertaining to dual nationality.
However, Makhdoom maintained that the apex court could not disqualify prime minister on the basis of verdict related to dual nationality following conflicting statements as they both were different cases altogether.
Justice Azmat observed that the court was reviewing whether Nawaz Sharif could be disqualified on the basis of available documents.
PM’s counsel went on and claimed that the apex court only passed an observation against Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and did not disqualify him regarding rental power plant case.
“The apex court could not take action directly on the basis of controversial record,” said Makhdoom Ali Khan.
To this, Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the court had passed declaration in many cases.
Makhdoom Ali Khan said that there was no conflict between statements of Nawaz Sharif. He maintained that premier’s speech can be reviewed according to constitution of Pakistan.
The apex court adjourned the hearing till Tuesday and Makhdoom Ali Khan would resume his arguments tomorrow.
Meanwhile, talking to newsmen outside Supreme Court, PML-N’s representative Danyal Aziz expressed that PTI had no evidence whatsoever to prove their point. He maintained that after Makhdoom Ali Khan, counsel for Maryam Nawaz would be arguing before the larger bench.
“BBC twisted the facts in its story regarding ownership of London flats,” Danyal said in response to a question.
On the other hand, PTI’s leader Naeem Ul Haq slammed the premier and said that he had become skillful in concealing corruption. Fawad Chaudhry while throwing his weight behind Naeem said that the arguments of Makhdoom Ali Khan had no link with the case.
During the last hearing, PM’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan expressed that disqualification of the premier under article 62 of the constitution required a declaration from the court.
He said that the standards of disqualification didn’t change after the elections. He added that the disqualification over a fake degree could be handled at a tribunal level.
“Under Article 62, a person can be disqualified for hiding assets and holding a fake degree,” Makhdoom Ali said.
“The issue of ineligibility could be raised at the time of the filing of nomination papers and after election the criteria of ineligibility could not be lowered, but application of co-warranto could be filed,” he argued.
At this point, Justice Khosa told Makhdoom that the cases he is referring to were against the election Commission not the tribunal.