ECP suspends hearing of disqualification references on Panama leaks

Hearing has been suspended until Supreme Court announces its decision on the issue

News Desk November 02, 2016
The hearing has been suspended until Supreme Court announces its decision on the issue. PHOTO: FILE

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday suspended the hearing of disqualification references filed against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders over the Panama leaks case.

The decision was announced after PM Nawaz's lawyer Sulman Aslam Butt submitted a plea requesting the ECP to suspend the hearing on grounds that Supreme Court had already taken up the matter. The hearing has been suspended until the top court announces its decision on the issue.

SC asks PTI, govt for ToRs to form Panamagate commission

The SC on Tuesday asked PML-N and PTI to submit their Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the formation of a commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks.

The Panama Papers on April 3 revealed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s three children were among dozens of powerful people who own offshore companies in international tax havens. The revelations had whipped up a storm with political parties, including the PTI, calling for the Sharif family’s accountability.


Supreme Court averts political showdown

Hearing five different petitions, a five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court — headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan — showed its determination to settle the Panama leaks issue.

Later, the bench asked the PML-N and PTI to submit their terms of reference (ToRs) for the formation of a commission of serving judges to probe the scandal within a limited timeframe.

“During hearing of these petitions, proposals as regard to the appointment of a commission have also come under consideration before the court, to which prima facie, all the stakeholders have shown their inclination,” the bench noted, adding that the final decision regarding the formation of commission will be taken tomorrow (November 3) at 11:30 am.

“Hearing…is adjourned till November 3 so as to enable all the respondents (PM and his family members) to submit their reply/concise statement, if any, and further to submit their formulations as regards ToRs for consideration in case the court comes to the conclusion that appointment of the commission will be expedient for the just and quick disposal of these petitions,” the order said.

However, the bench made it clear that in case of continued discrepancy between the ToRs of the government and the PTI, the court would formulate its own ToRs. The commission’s findings will be binding on all parties, it observed.

After emergence of the Panamagate scandal, the government had requested the chief justice to form an inquiry commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks. But the CJP on May 13 refused to constitute a ‘toothless inquiry commission’ under its existing ToRs presented by the government.

Later, opposition parties and government held several meetings to finalise the ToRs but no consensus could be evolved. Meanwhile, the top court also did not adjudicate the matter despite pendency of a number of petitions, seeking the prime minister’s disqualification in view of the revelations.


Anees A. | 5 years ago | Reply So what's the big deal! ECPwere probably not going to do anyway, plus SCP is doing the same thing so lets not get carried away!
Parvez | 5 years ago | Reply The ECP is supposed to be independent body........but is it ?
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