A three member special bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan has directed Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sharif family’s financial assets to submit its final report by July 10.
The direction was given after the JIT submitted its third progress report to the bench on Thursday.
The JIT, formed on May 6 in light of the Supreme Court’s April 20 judgment in the Panama case, was given 60 days to complete its probe. However, since the original deadline was falling on a Friday, and with the JIT taking a day off on Eid, July 10 has been decided as the deadline for the team to submit its final report.
After perusing the progress report, the bench directed Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf Ali to inform the court if the government objects to making public the JIT report on Hussain Nawaz’s picture leak.
Justice Ahsan asked the JIT’s head, Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, if government departments are cooperating with the JIT. Zia replied that the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) provided the investigators with the relevant record whereas the Federal Board of Revenue has yet to do so.
Justice Ejaz inquired from AG about the delay in providing the relevant record to the JIT.
When the AG was asked by Justice Ahsan if a probe into allegations of record tampering is under way by the government, the AG said an inquiry is being held and its results will be shared soon.
Justice Azmat remarked that the court has ordered all government departments to cooperate with the JIT in its probe.
The bench also directed Zia to list with the AG all the relevant records that the JIT needs to complete its probe.
Earlier, the JIT, tasked to probe the Sharif family’s assets, informed the Supreme Court (SC) that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is not providing complete wealth record of the ruling family.
During Thursday’s hearing of the Panamagate case by a three-judge implementation bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, JIT head Wajid Zia said the probe body wrote three letters to the revenue board, asking whether the record was not submitted by the Sharifs or if it was stolen from the FBR office, but no reply was received.
Some case record tampered with, says JIT Expressing serious concern and indignation, the top court bench observed that it was a clear case of defiance shown by the institution. “Does this mean the record has been stolen?” asked Justice Ijazul Ahsan, observing that the court may summon FBR head if record was not provided.
Another member of the bench, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, observed that the ‘foot-dragging’ would not go in favour of the ruling family.
“No foot dragging. We are at the last scratch of the investigation. Our patience is running out,” Justice Azmat asked the AGP.
The bench went on to ask the JIT head to submit a complete list of documents which are not being provided by the FBR. However, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali assured the bench that the available record would soon be provided to the JIT.
Meanwhile, in response to an inquiry made by the bench members, Zia said the investigative body did not reveal the name of the person who leaked Hussain Nawaz’s picture during interrogation for security reasons.
Upon this, the bench asked the AGP to submit a written response on behalf of the government to ascertain whether it had any reservation on the disclosure of the suspect’s identity. “The AGP has better sense of security concerns and if he does not have an objection on the disclosure of the person’s name then the JIT should have no issue,” Justice Khan remarked.
The bench further directed the JIT to submit its final investigation report on July 10.