SC reserves verdict in Panama papers case

ISLAMABAD, July 21 (APP): The Supreme Court on Friday
reserved its judgment in the Panama papers case after
conclusion of arguments and counter arguments by the
respondents and petitioners over the Joint Investigation Team’s
(JIT) report.
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, reserved the verdict
after hearing arguments of Salman Akram Raja counsel for
the prime minister’s children, Dr Tariq Hassan counsel for
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Prosecutor General of
National Accountability Bureau (NAB), counter arguments
from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) counsel Naeem
Bukhari, Jamaat-i-Islami counsel Taufeq Asif and Awami Muslim
League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.
The court directed to provide a copy of the Volume X of the
JIT’s report, earlier marked confidential, to Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer
Khawaja Haris.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the Volume X contains details
of JIT’s foreign correspondence and it would help in clearing
certain points. The volume was being made public on the
request of prime minister’s lawyer, he added.
The bench asked Khawaja Haris to examine specific sections
of the volume.
The bench observed that it will work strictly
within the parameters of the law and not trample any
individual’s fundamental rights.
Continuing his arguments before the court Salman Akram Raja,
counsel for the prime minister’s children said that many law firms and solicitors work on Saturday in the United Kingdom (UK),
to which the bench agreed.
The bench had asked the counsel to prove authenticity of
the documents submitted by a lawyer on behalf of his clients about
the trust deed executed between Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz
in February 2006, signed on Saturday in the UK.
Salman Akram Raja said that Maryam Nawaz was not the owner
of the Avenfield flats in London. Upon this Justice Ejaz Afzal
Khan remarked that the JIT’s report shows that Maryam Nawaz
is the beneficial owner of the flats.
Maryam Nawaz’s ownership
of the off-shore companies was not included in the tax returns
of her husband, Captain (Retd) Safdar, he added.
He said that if the court concludes that the ownership is
not included in the tax returns, then the Representation of the
People’s Act 1976 will be applicable.
Salman Akram Raja said that there were clerical mistakes in
the 2006 trust deed. The errors were made during the initial
proceedings of the Panama papers case when Advocate Akram
Sheikh was representing the prime minister’s children, he added.
“We cannot even think of submitting fake documents to
the court,” Salman Akram Raja said.
He said that Hussain Nawaz had received all the capital
from his grandfather Mian Mohammad Sharif. Parents cannot
bear the responsibility, if the son could not produce evidence of
his assets, he added.
Tariq Hassan submitted his client’s tax returns before the court,
spanning over 34 years.
Justice Ejaz Afzal observed that the bench will thoroughly examine
all the documents.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) counsel presented
his arguments after which the bench reserved its judgment and
adjourned the hearing.