Big day big hearing: All eyes on Supreme Court

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Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

A three-member bench of Supreme Court on implementation of the report of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Panama Case will hear biggest and important case today.
The special bench is head by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed. The bench has already issued notices to the parties to submit their responses on the finding of JIT. The report of the JIT was presented before the court on last Monday.
The bench is expected to begin proceedings at 9:30 this morning. The petitioners of the panama case included Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed and Jamat-e-Islami head Sirajul Haq while the respondents include the prime minister, his family members, and several government officials and departments.
The JIT, formed in light of the verdict of Supreme Court April-20 to probe the Sharif family’s money trail. It was given 60-days to probe and investigate. The report highlighted the failure of the Sharif family to provide a money trail for its London apartments and claimed the prime minister and his children own assets beyond their known sources of income.
According to sources, the Nawaz family has prepared its response and will submit it in the court today. The response reportedly raises objections to repeated addition of several documents in the JIT report.
At the last hearing, the bench also sought from the government transcripts of speeches made by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Talal Chaudhry, Prime Minister’s Political Secretary Asif Kirmani and Railways Minister Saad Rafique, meanwhile those transcripts have been already submitted to the apex court.
In a 3-2 judgement of April 20, the majority judges determined that the available evidence was insufficient to disqualify the prime minister outright and directed for the formation of a JIT to investigate the case and collect evidence, if any, showing that ‘Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif or any of his dependents possesses or acquired assets or any interest therein disproportionate to their known means of income’
According to sources, it is expected that the decision of the court will wind up within this month.