Third JIT progress report submitted to Supreme Court bench

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The Supreme Court-sanctioned joint investigation team (JIT) investigating Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s business dealings abroad on Thursday submitted its third progress report to the three-member special bench implementing the apex court’s verdict on the Panamagate case.

After reviewing the report, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who heads the bench, expressed anger on being told once again that various departments of the government are continuing to refuse cooperation with the JIT.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, on asking whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had provided the JIT the information it had requested, was told that the SECP had provided some documents while the FBR had provided nothing, even though they had been asked thrice.

Justice Azmat Saeed said that such behaviour was not acceptable and the departments should cooperate with the JIT on the SC’s orders.
He also asked if there were any details of where the records were kept. “Are they lost or stolen?” he questioned.

“No good will come out of this for the departments if they delay the process by dragging their legs,” Justice Ahsan warned.

The attorney general, who was subsequently called to the bench to explain the lack of cooperation from government departments, said that a list of required records should be provided to him and the government would ensure that the JIT is given access to them.

The attorney general said the head of the FBR should be summoned to court to answer its questions; however, it should be known that the department only keeps records for a particular period of time.

Justice Afzal maintained that the FBR had never informed the court about any such constraint and said the department’s chairman would be called in for questioning if need be.

The bench nonetheless instructed the JIT to provide a list of all records required from the FBR and reiterated that the JIT should complete its investigation in the given time and submit its final report by July 10.

The court also discussed the matter of the JIT photo leak, observing that Hussain Nawaz had moved the court to create a judicial commission.

The court instructed the attorney general to find out if the government had any reservations about the name of the person who leaked the photo being disclosed.