A ‘Review’ that never was

THE Supreme Court on Friday rejected review petitions filed by former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, his children, Capt (Retd) Muhammad Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar against its July 28 verdict in Panama Papers case under which MNS was disqualified as Member of the National Assembly and asked to step down as PM. A five-member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, delivered a short judgement after a short hearing dismissing pleas for review for reasons to be recorded later.
PNL(N) leaders, in their reactions, complained that justice was not done to them but they respect the outcome of the review process. They pointed out that Supreme Court is the highest institution for seeking justice, supremacy of the institutions should be upheld and PML(N) believed in this principle. Khawaja Saad Rafiq observed that same respect should also be shown for Parliament, which is not seen in the prevailing circumstances. With the culmination of the judicial process in Panama Case, there is now end of the world for MNS and his children and Senator Ishaq Dar as far as justice through courts is considered. The outcome was known even to a layman and therefore, one wonders why PML(N) leaders and their lawyers opted for a process that ended in nothing but complicated the situation further. However, the petitions raised some of the very pertinent questions and points that had been agitating the minds of not only petitioners but also the legal fraternity including jurists that had been close to the arch rival of PML(N) i.e. former President Musharraf. The petitioners got no relief – not even in respect of unique supervision and monitoring of the accountability courts by a judge of the Supreme Court who was part of the bench delivering judgement in Panama Papers case. The instances referred to by judges during hearing of the review petition to justify this monitoring, which considered to be something like denial of justice and right of appeal, were clearly irrelevant and convinced no one. Some of the remarks made by some judges of the five-member bench also reflected inner feelings of the bench and what was in store for PML(N) leaders. The speed with which the review petitions have been rejected has also baffled many as in-depth consideration is given to legal issues and intricacies even during summary military trials. With no hope left from the judicial process, PML(N) now only has the political options and it now depends on its ability how best it uses cards to remain relevant in politics.

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