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Dar files review petition against Panama case verdict

Source: Geo • 30 days ago
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar addressing the media after appearing before the Panama case JIT on July 3. Photo: Geo News 

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. 

Dar’s petition was filed by lawyers Shahid Hamid and Dr Tariq Hasan, who have requested the apex court to null and void it's July 28 decision and to hold the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) references against Dar till the verdict on the review petition.

In the nine-page review petition, Dar objected on the working of Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT), stating “the JIT self-evidently exceeded its mandate by opining on whether or not Petitioner’s assets were disproportionate to his known source of income and this august Court has regrettably erred in law…. in passing a NAB reference against the petitioner on the basis of a JIT report that was way beyond its mandate.”

The finance minister in his appeal also mentioned that Article 184 (3) of the Constitution cannot be used to usurp basic human rights of an individual, further adding that a three-member bench heard the Panama case after the submission of the JIT report, but the final decision was given by a five-member bench.

Dar also said that the appointment of a judge to monitor NAB’s proceedings will affect the trial proceedings.

The petition stated that the July 28 verdict and appointment of a Supreme Court judge to monitor the NAB investigation is a violation of articles 175, 203 of the Constitution.

The NAB has summoned Dar to appear before investigators on August 22 for a probe into his assets and funds.

Dar has been summoned by the bureau for the second time as it begins its Supreme Court-mandated inquiry into the property and assets of the Sharif family and the finance minister.

Dar had previously been summoned to appear before investigators on August 18 but the finance minister did not show up. 

In its July 28 verdict, the five-member Supreme Court bench disqualified the then prime minister and ordered NAB to prepare and file a reference in an accountability court within six weeks against members of the Sharif family and others, including Dar.

The accountability court was given six months to wrap up the proceedings.

It also requested the chief justice of Pakistan to nominate a judge of the Supreme Court to supervise and monitor implementation of the judgment and oversee proceedings of NAB and the accountability court. Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the Panama case bench as well as the special implementation bench formed later, was made the monitoring judge by the Supreme Court.

Last Tuesday, Nawaz Sharif filed three similar petitions in the Supreme Court to review the Panama Papers verdict.

The petitions pleaded the apex court to dismiss the petitions filed by Sheikh Rasheed, Imran Khan and Siraj-ul-Haq.

The petitions added that the five-member bench did not have jurisdiction to rule over Article 184 (3) of the Constitution to disqualify the prime minister “without fair trial” and added that the apex court overseeing the NAB probe is violation “against the trichotomy Article 175”.

The former prime minister, through his petition, has argued that the decision should have been passed by a three-member bench as Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed's jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgment on April 20.

"That by signing the Final Order of the Court dated 28.07.2017, the hon’ble two Members of the “Bench” have actually passed two final Judgments in the same case, which is unprecedented in judicial history," said the appeal filed, a copy of which is available with Geo News.

The petitions also called the commendations and appreciations of the JIT "a gross transgression" of the former prime minister's right to a fair trial.

The petitions also pleaded upon the apex court to "review and expunge" paragraph six of the final judgment.

The former premier has also filed a request before the apex court to issue a stay order on the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict.

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