After a preliminary hearing of pleas seeking disqualification of country’s chief executive in the wake of the Panama leaks, Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to 11 respondents, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed, Watan Party chairman Zafarullah Khan and a lawyer Tariq Asad had filed petitions in the matter.
Resuming the hearing, a three-member bench led by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali asked the Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf to submit a reply within two weeks.
Others who have also been asked to submit replies include Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the daughter of Nawaz Sharif, sons – Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz – Captain Muhammad Safdar (Retd), son-in-law, Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Chairman National Accountability Bureau, Secretary Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, Federal Interior Secretary, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue and Secretary Establishment Division.
In its short order, the bench said: “Having heard the learned ASCs for the petitioners and petitioners in-person at some length, we are inclined to issue notices to the respondents and Attorney General for Pakistan- Order accordingly – Office to re-list these cases within two weeks”.
Watan Party’s chairman Advocate Zafarullah Khan urged the court to avoid constituting any judicial commission in response to government’s request. He also urged the apex court to ban PTI’s planned sit-in (Dharna) in Islamabad.
While dismissing the Watan Party’s plea, the bench, in its order said, “Keeping in view the assertions made in the petition, we have heard the learned ASC and satisfied that in the context of various prayers made in the petition, it is premature and does not call for exercising our jurisdiction under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution at this juncture, this petition is dismissed”.
At the onset of the hearing, the PTI counsel, Hamid Khan, submitted that once the Panama leaks matter emerged in April this year, disclosing the names of Nawaz Sharif and his family members’ involvement, Iceland’s prime minister resigned but Nawaz Sharif did not take any tangible step towards the Panama Leaks issue.
Responding to Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, the PTI counsel said that his client wants an investigation into the Panama leaks.
The JI counsel pleaded that his client has requested the court to issue directives for an across the board investigation into the Panama leaks.
Sheikh Rashid contended in person that the whole nation has focused eyes on the apex court so it is the time to save the nation from corrupt rulers, adding instead of issuing notices to Nawaz Sharif, the court may issue “show cause notice to him [Sharif]”.
Tariq Asad urged the court to decide the matter of maintainability of the current pleas to which, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that it would not be possible for the court to give its verdict about maintainability of pleas within a day.
Responding to Asad’s plea to ban PTI from holding a sit-in in Islamabad, the Chief Justice remarked that it would not be appropriate to do others’ jobs and “let the issue be decided by people at the helm of affairs.”
Later, issuing notices to the parties to the case, the bench adjourned the hearing of the matter for two weeks. -Business Recorder