A five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court on Friday adjourned hearing of the Panamagate case till the first week of January 2017.
The decision was taken after a short session of the court in which Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) counsel Naeem Bokhari announced the party’s decision to boycott a commission, if it is formed, to probe the Panamagate scam.
Representing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Advocate Salman Aslam Butt said the premier will have no issue if a commission is formed. Akram Sheikh, the lawyer representing PM’s children presented the same stance.
At this, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that the court does not need either party’s approval to form a commission.
Editorial: Panama commission
He said there was no issue with wrapping up the case before his bench, “but we want to hear all sides before taking a decision”.
The chief justice further said he wanted all sides to get an equal chance to present their case, something the formation of a commission could ensure.
Meanwhile Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid, presenting his own stance in the absence of a lawyer, said the proceedings should resume in open court.
“We will accept any decision that the court takes in front of the open court,” he added.
Dissatisfied with the way parties to the Panama Papers leaks hearing developed their case over nine days of proceedings, the Supreme Court on Wednesday proposed constituting a commission to hold an extensive inquiry into the matter.
The court had asked the counsel for PM and the PTI chief to come up with their stance after seeking instructions on forming the inquiry commission.
‘Case to be heard from beginning’
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked during the hearing that the court will be on vacation from Dec 15 to Dec 30, and it will not be possible for the bench to reach a verdict after just two more hearings, hence the hearing should be adjourned till January.
Also, the current chief justice will reach superannuation on Dec 30, and his farewell reference will be held on Dec 15.
The SC’s decision to adjourn the Panamagate proceedings till January means that the new chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who will take oath on Dec 31, will form a new larger bench to hear the case.
The case will be heard from the beginning before the new bench, CJP Jamali said.
He said the lawyers will have to present evidence again in front of the new bench.
Will not let this case be forgotten: Imran
Imran Khan’s media talk — DawnNews
Addressing a press conference, PTI chairman Imran Khan said he wishes the current bench would wrap up the case as soon as possible. “[This is why] we wished that the case was heard on a day-to-day basis.”
On the formation of the commission he said: “The decision is up to the new chief justice but in our eyes the time for that has passed. The provision of evidence has nearly ended.”
“We will not let this case be forgotten… it will not die down. While the case is adjourned we will go to the public.”
courtesy : dawn news