Dar challenges top court’s verdict on Panama Papers


Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar Monday challenged the Supreme Court verdict against him in Panama Papers case.
The finance minister filed review petition through his counsel Shahid Hamid demanding the court to declare the verdict dated 28.07.2017 invalid which ordered National Accountability Bureau to file a reference against him for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income.
The senator further prayed that the direction in the alleged impugned judgment against him be stayed till final order on this petition as it was announced without going through all the record moreover the Joint Investigation Team has been overstepped its mandate.
Senator Ishaq Dar, took the plea that arguments on the JIT report were heard by three judges only whereas the Impugned Final Order has been passed by five Judges including two who never heard arguments on the said report and/or considered the Petitioner’s objections relating thereto.
He argued that the final order of the pex court pertained to overseeing, supervise and monitor the implementation of the judgment, and oversee the proceedings conducted by NAB and the accountability court in filing references, by a Judge of this court was violative of Articles 175(2) and (3) and 203 and other provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
He maintained that “No direction whatsoever was given to the JIT qua the Petitioner. The JIT self-evidently exceeded its mandate by opining on whether or not Petitioner’s assets were disproportionate to his known sources of income and this august Court has regrettably erred in law.
A complete record of the income and wealth tax returns from 1983 to 2016 including the period FY 2002-03 to FY 2007-08 were provided to the JIT, the petitioner maintained.
He stated that NAB has previously looked into the tax record of both the Petitioner and his wife for 22 years from 1985 to 2007 and found no evidence of assets beyond known/declared sources of income and closed the inquiry.
How then can a reference be filed on the spurious JIT report that the Petitioner has not provided the relevant record? he asked in his petition.
It may also pertinently be added/clarified here that for the FYs 2002-2003 to 2007-2008 the Petitioner did declare his global assets (foreign and local) to the Election Commission of Pakistan as required by the Representation of People Act, 1976. Dar maintained.
Imran Khan Niazi, NAB, FBR, Secretary law and Justice Division and Secretary Interior were cited as respondents in the review petition.
The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan unanimously in its verdict on the Panamagate case, ordered NAB to file four references against former PM Sharif, his family members and others within six
weeks before accountability courts in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on the basis of thematerial collected and referred to by the Joint Investigating Team.— APP

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