New Bench on Panamagate

SOON after taking oath as Chief Justice of Pakistan on Saturday,
Saqib Nisar put to rest all speculations by constituting a slightly different five member larger bench under the supervision of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to hear the Panama case. Apart from excluding himself, another judge Amir Muslim Hani is no longer part of the bench. Indeed it was the discretion of the new CJP to form the new bench including or excluding anybody.
However, his decision not to be part of the bench is very much understandable as before his swearing in ceremony some controversial statements had emanated from certain political parties as well as political analysts that the new CJP deemed it appropriate to stay away. Though we welcome the decision of the new CJP but it is regrettable that in our country, certain elements are always out to make even the honest and upright personalities controversial at all costs, for their own hidden agenda Given the nature of the Panama case and the experience of incumbent CJP in commercial and tax laws, we believe his inclusion in the bench would have been very productive in understanding the complex nature of the case. Anyway we have no doubt in the capabilities of other judges and we are sure that truth and justice will prevail at the end of the day. We also expect that parties in the case also refrain from issuing statements that pose a question mark on integrity of the judges. In fact with reconstitution of the bench, the apex court has once again demonstrated the priority it is according to this high profile case and since the case will be heard afresh with the induction of two new judges, all eyes once again will be on the court to carry out the hearing on regular basis in order to reach conclusion at the earliest. This is also important to end the current environment of uncertainty and allow the government to focus and divert its energies towards its real work i.e. good governance and welfare of people.

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