ISLAMABAD: A member of the apex court’s larger bench on Tuesday dampened excitement of the PTI’s leadership when he cautioned that a dangerous precedent will be set, if the Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif merely on the basis of his speeches related to the Panama leaks.
“We being human make statements. A question arises whether the statements may become a base to disqualify someone – if yes, then it will be a dangerous precedent,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, one of the five judges hearing Panamagate case about offshore businesses of the premier’s family members.
Justice Khan termed the PM Nawaz Sharif’s statement in parliament as ‘independent’ and told the PTI’s counsel Naeem Bukhari that the PM’s speech was not part of any criminal transaction and had nothing to do with Panama Papers.
“The court is examining responsibility of the PM in Panama Papers case but how we can give judgment on the basis of his statements, which have no connection with the issue?,” he said.
Another judge Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh asked the PTI’s counsel to show any precedent in the world, where the court disqualified a lawmaker. Referring to Article 10-A of the Constitution.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading the bench, also told the PTI’s lawyer that he was asking them to act as a crusader, who, while brandishing a sword, holds trial, passes an order and then also executes it.
Justice Khosa observed that the onus will be on the Sharif family to prove how such huge amount of money was maintained for more than a quarter of century.
The PTI’s counsel read out the investigation report, prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) former director general Rehman Malik in 1998. In the report the investigator had claimed that Sharifs were involved in money laundering.
However, Justice Ejaz and Justice Sheikh observed that the report could not be accepted as evidence in this matter.
After thorough discussion, the bench allowed the PTI’s counsel to read out contents of the investigation report. Later Justice Khosa observed that much research was put into the report but it ended nowhere.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.