ISLAMABAD: A special bench of the Supreme Court has fixed for hearing a plea by one of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons, who has expressed his reservations over two members of the joint investigation team (JIT) probing offshore properties of ruling family in line with apex court’s Panamagate verdict.
The three-judge special bench will take up on May 29 Hussain Nawaz’s plea, objecting to Amer Aziz and Bilal Rasool, who respectively represent the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in the six-member JIT.
The judges included in the bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsen, were the ones who wrote the majority verdict in Panamagate case, and ordered formation of the JIT comprising one official each from six different institutions.
“We received applications of Hussain Nawaz Sharif, expressing reservations over two members of the JIT, namely Bilal Rasool and Amer Aziz.
“Let these applications be numbered and listed for hearing in the court on 29-05-2017. Notice to be issued to the applicant (Hussain) for said date,” said the order, passed by the bench in the chamber.
Hussain has alleged that one of them is a close friend of former president General Pervez Musharraf and was very active when a high treason case was being heard against Musharraf by a special court.
He has claimed that the other one is said to be a relative of Punjab former governor Mian Azhar – a founding member of the PML-Q – and is currently aligned with the PTI.
Commenting on the development, senior lawyer Babar Awan, who has been close to the PTI chief Imran Khan, said sending applications directly to the apex court’s registrar was contempt of the court.
“Earlier the SC initiated contempt proceedings against former PM Raja Parvez Ashraf for writing letter to the chief justice of Pakistan. The SC should also initiate contempt proceedings against Hussain Nawaz in this matter,” Awan said while talking to the media persons.
The PTI lawyer Chaudhry Faisal Hussain expressed wonder why the SC registrar office kept the matter secret when he inquired about Hussain’s application on Wednesday.
“The SC Registrar Arbab Arif refused to share any information in this regard,” Hussain said, adding that he now expected that the office would now supply copies of these applications to the PTI chief before May 29.
Another member of the Sharif family – the PM’s cousin Tariq Shafi – has also filed a complaint to the JIT head Wajid Zia against some of the JIT members, who allegedly misbehaved with him during interrogation. A copy of the complaint has also been sent to the SC registrar for perusal of the bench.
“Tariq Shafi has filed a complaint. There is an apprehension that some JIT members, who have political inclinations, may put pressure on witnesses to record a version best suited to the detractors. There may be a conflict of interest which may prejudice the enquiry,” a senior PML-N leader told The Express Tribune.
The source said Hussain Nawaz also sent an email endorsing the contents of Shafi’s complaint. “Hussain has contended that some JIT members are violating the apex court’s order,” he added.