ISLAMABAD (Sarzameen News)- The three-member special bench of the Supreme Court, formed to monitor Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) proceeding Monday adjourned the hearing of the Panama Papers case till June 7.
The hearing of the case was conducted by a three-member bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal on Monday. Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia submitted the interim report pertaining to Panama case probe in Supreme Court.
After the bench reviewed the report, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said the court has full confidence in the team and its work. He asked the JIT to inform the court if any hurdles are created by an institution or if any department refuses to cooperate.
Justice Ejaz Afzal directed the head of JIT Wajid Zia to complete the investigation process within sixty days. He asserted that the probe period will not be extended under any circumstance.
“The court will neither defy law nor it will sell it for fame,” he added.
The bench also rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) plea to conduct hearing of the court in open court and share the report. Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked, ‘Tell us the law under which an officer is bound to reveal the details during investigation.’ Justice Azmat Saeed asked PTI not to create hurdles in the investigation.
The court while adjourning the hearing ordered to reseal the report and submit it in the registrar office.
Later talking to media Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Court has expressed satisfaction over the first report of JIT on Panama Case. She said all relevant institutions are fully cooperating with the JIT. The minister said PTI has once again tried to put an unconstitutional demand before the court which was rejected.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Daniyal Aziz said the PTI chief is just trying to evade investigation about his party’s foreign funding. He said that the PTI chief is a proclaimed offender therefore he should be behind bars but he is roaming around in the streets fearlessly.
Two weeks back, a six-member JIT constituted by the Supreme Court initiated probe into Panama Papers case at the Federal Judicial Academy. The JIT includes officials from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), State Bank (SB), Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) while director-general level FIA officer will head the team. JIT will have jurisdiction to travel abroad for investigation.
The investigation team will submit a progress report after every two weeks to the apex court. The JIT is supposed to complete probe within two months.
Panama Papers had published a leak of documents belonging to Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in April 2016 creating an uproar in Pakistan among other countries. The leak was studied by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and stated names of incumbent as well as former leaders of the world who owned shell companies.
Opposition parties in Pakistan saw offshore companies owned by daughter and two sons of PM Nawaz as means to either stash wealth in foreign accounts or purchase assets abroad. The top court took up the case in October last year on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Awami Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami and reserved the verdict in February after conducting hearings on daily basis.