A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court will announce its decision on the Panama Papers case at 11:30 a.m. today.
The decision had been reserved on July 21 after the three-member executionary bench comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Ijaz ul-Hassan heard the arguments of both the parties on Joint Investigation Team and reserved the decision.
The decision of the Panama Papers case will be announced by the original five-member bench which heard the landmark case. The bench comprises Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.
The landmark verdict will be announced in Courtroom 1 of the Supreme Court building.
The April 20 judgement issued by the larger bench in the Panama Papers case had been split 3-2 among the five judges, with two dissenting notes from Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed. Justice Ejaz Afzal authored the majority opinion in the 540-page judgement.
The two judges who ruled against PM Nawaz Sharif had said he should be disqualified as he could not be considered ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’ (ameen and sadiq), whereas the other three were in favour of forming a JIT to definitively answer the question of whether the allegations against the prime minister were true or not.
A special bench of the Supreme Court was constituted to examine the case under Section 184/3 of the Constitution. The bench comprised the three judges who had prevailed.
The court had further said that: “upon receipt of the reports, periodic or final of the JIT, as the case may be, the matter of disqualification of respondent No. 1 [Nawaz Sharif] shall be considered. If found necessary for passing an appropriate order in this behalf, [Nawaz Sharif or any other person may be summoned and examined.”
The Supreme Court had on May 6 formed the JIT, putting a senior officer of the Federal Investigation Agency in charge. After considering the background and antecedents of the officer, FIA’s Additional Director General Wajid Zia, a grade 21 officer, was appointed head of the probe team.
Amer Aziz of the State Bank of Pakistan, Executive Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Bilal Rasool, National Accountability Bureau Director Irfan Naeem Mangi, Brig Muhammad Nauman Saeed of Inter-Services Intelligence and Brig Kamran Khurshid of the Military Intelligence were appointed as the remaining members of the team.
The six-member JIT’s damning report, submitted after a 60-day investigation that sought answers to 13 questions raised by the Supreme Court’s larger bench, had maintained that Prime Minister’s family owned assets beyond its known sources of income. It declared that both Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were used as proxies to build family assets.
Consequently, the six-man JIT concluded that it was compelled to refer to sections 9(a)(v) and 14(c) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, which deal with corruption and corrupt practices, though such charges are yet to be proven in an accountability court.