SC asks Panama papers case JIT to submit reply over leakage of Hussain Nawaz picture

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 7 (APP): The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked
the Panama Papers case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to submit
response over leaking of Hussain Nawaz’s picture of his appearance
before it.
A three-member special implementation bench of the apex court
headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh
Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard Panama implementation
case.
During the course of proceedings, Khawaja Haris Ahmad counsel
for Hussain Nawaz appeared and pleaded the court to constitute an
independent commission headed by a retired or sitting judge of the
apex court to inquire into the circumstances leading to the leaking
of his client’s photograph on social media and to identify the
person or persons responsible for the same.
He also pleaded the court to direct JIT members to immediately
stop the video recording of its proceedings relating to recording of
statement and interrogation of witnesses.
Khawaja Haris said that the photo leak was against ethical and
legal codes and recording videos of the JIT’s proceedings was
similar to pressurising witnesses appearing before the body.
He added that the recording of proceedings does not allow
witnesses to speak without being treated like a criminal.
He said that recording the statement of a witness is a violation of Sections 161 (public servant taking gratification other then legal remuneration in respect of an official act) and 162 (taking gratification for exercise of personal influence with public servant) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
He said, “The manner and timing of the release of the photograph has raised questions about the motives of the person or persons behind this sordid affair”.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that Hussain Nawaz’s leaked
picture was screen shot and not of video recording.
He remarked that let the bench first hear the JIT over the issue. “If need arises of detailed investigation then the court will look into it,” he added.
The court asked the JIT to file its response to Hussain Nawaz’s plea and adjourned hearing for Monday (June 12).
Head of the JIT Wajid Zia submitted its second report in a sealed envelope.
The bench after reviewing the report advised the JIT to submit
a separate application listing the problems, obstacles and difficulties being faced in completing the assigned task.
Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that the court will issue directions to the attorney general based on the application.
He hoped that the team would complete the task in the given
time.
The bench reiterated that the JIT will not be allowed extra time to complete the task assigned to it. “We will not allow extra time under any circumstances,” Justice Shiekh Azmat remarked.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that the first half of the JIT’s report contained a list of difficulties faced by the team.