SC majority judges order constitution of JIT to inquire Panama Papers case

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SC majority judges order constitution of JIT to inquire Panama Papers case

ISLAMABAD, April 20 (APP): Majority judges of the Supreme Court

five-member bench Thursday ordered constitution of a joint
investigation team (JIT) to further probe the allegations with regard to
Panama Papers case.
The three judges of the SC bench differed with the opinion of
two other judges and directed for an appropriate probe in the case.
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, who headed the five-judge bench,
announced the reserved order over a set of petitions moved by
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jammat-i-Islami and Awami Muslim League.
In the wake of majority’s decision, the Supreme
Court issued direction to set up JIT to investigate and submit
its report within 60 days about Panama Papers allegations.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul
Ahsan opted for formation of a JIT, to find answers to certain
questions raised by them in this order.
Justice Khosa read out the majority decision in which he
and Justice Gulzar Ahmed differed with the other three judges of the
apex court.

The majority decision cited the reason for constitution
of a JIT by saying in the normal circumstances, such exercise
could be conducted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),
but its Chairman appeared to be indifferent and even unwilling
to perform his part.
It ordered for the constitution of the JIT which would
consist of the following members :

i) a senior officer of the Federal Investigation Agency
(FIA), not below the rank of Additional Director General who
shall head the team having firsthand experience of
investigation of white collar crime and related matters;

ii) a representative of the National Accountability Bureau
(NAB);

iii) a nominee of the Security & Exchange Commission of
Pakistan (SECP) familiar with the issues of money laundering
and white collar crimes;

iv) a nominee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP);

v) a seasoned officer of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)
nominated by its Director General; and

vi) a seasoned officer of Military Intelligence (M.I.)
nominated by its Director General.
The order said the heads of the aforesaid departments/
institutions would recommend the names of their nominees for
the JIT within seven days which would be placed before the
judges in chambers for nomination and approval.
The JIT would investigate the case and collect evidence,
if any, against the respondents.
Further respondents were directed to appear and
associate themselves with the JIT as and when required.
The JIT may also examine the evidence and material, if
any, already available with the FIA and NAB.
The JIT is required to submit its periodical reports
every two weeks before a Bench of the Court constituted in
this behalf.
The JIT would complete the investigation and submit its
final report before the said Bench within sixty
days from the date of its constitution.
The bench thereupon may pass appropriate orders in
exercise of its powers under Articles 184(3), 187(2) and 190
of the Constitution on the basis of the material brought on
the record before it.
It is further held that if found necessary, the court
may summon and examine the respondent or any person.
The bench also requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan
to constitute a Special Bench to ensure implementation of this
judgment so that the investigation into the allegations might
not be left in a blind alley.