ISLAMABAD: The attorney general for Pakistan (AGP) has urged the Supreme Court to exercise restraint in giving any observation against either party in the Panamagate case judgment.
Ashtar Ausaf Ali submitted a 12-page written reply along with supportive documents in the apex court, wherein he urged the court to exercise due consideration to guard against any finding that may prejudice the case of either party before the appropriate forum, sources in the AGP office told The Express Tribune on Monday
A three-judge bench – headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan – concluded on July 21 hearing on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others, seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for ‘concealing’ offshore properties revealed in the Panama Papers.
At the end of the proceedings, Additional Attorney General Waqar Rana requested the bench to allow the AGP office to file a written reply in the case. The court verbally permitted him to file a reply, which was submitted on Monday.
Sources also revealed that it is also contended that as per the Supreme Court’s own recent judgments, the offence of possessing ‘assets beyond means’ is established if there is a nexus between misuse of public office and accumulation of assets. Likewise, a finding of a court of plenary jurisdiction [trial court] to establish the same is required.
The AGP office also objected to the apex court’s citation of Supreme Court of India’s Ram Jethmalani case judgment, which was reported in 2011. In that case, the Indian top court had constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe into the matter related to foreign accounts of Indian individuals. It is contended in the reply that the case could not be cited as a precedent in the Panamagate case, they added. It is also learnt that the Panamagate case judgment would likely be announced soon.
Earlier, Premier Sharif had submitted a written reply through his counsels Khawaja Haris wherein he rejected the allegation that he had concealed his employment as claimed by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed into his and his family’s offshore assets.
Sharif also admitted before the SC that he had not only taken up an employment with Capital FZE, a UAE-based company, but had also obtained a work permit or ‘Iqama’ of the Gulf state. However, he claimed that this fact was reflected in his nomination papers for the 2013 general elections.
He said he was never confronted with the documents related to Capital FZE by the JIT, adding that if he had been confronted with such documents, he would have explained his position to the JIT.