Supreme Court indecisive on Panama papers case; decides further investigation

34

ISLAMABAD, Apr 20 (APP): In a long awaited and split judgment on Panama papers case, the Supreme Court has framed twelve questions and has decided formation of a six member Joint Investigation Team to sort out answers to these questions.
Announcing the 540 pages judgment reserved on February 23, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, head of the five member larger bench of the Supreme Court, on Thursday thanked all the parties for passionate hearing of the case and expected graceful reaction after the judgment.
According to the judgment, the Court did not find answers to the questions that how Gulf Steel Mills was established? How it was sold? What happened to its liabilities? How the money reached Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? How in such a young age, Hasan and Hussain Nawaz purchased expensive flats in London? How, all of a sudden, letter of the Qatari prince came and is it a myth or reality? When and how the shares converted into immovable property? Who are the real owners of the offshore companies? From where the investment for Flagship and other companies was arranged? How Respondent No. 7 (Hussain Nawaz) gave huge amounts as to respondent No.1 (Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) as gift?
The Court, in its judgment, in normal situation National Accountability should have been investigated the issue but as Chairman NAB is indefinite to play his role, the court is compelled to sort out other ways.
The Court decided to form a six member team to be headed by a senior official of the Federal Investigation Agency and comprising a representative of National Accountability, one from Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with expertise in money laundering cases, one member from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), one senior official from Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and one from Intelligence Bureau (IB).
All members of the JIT to be nominated by the heads of concerned organizations and to be submitted before the court within seven days for approval and notification.
A special bench to be formed for overseeing the investigation and the JIT is required to complete its work within sixty days and to submit a progress report before the special bench every two weeks.
All the respondents are directed to appear before the JIT whenever they are needed to appear. The JIT is empowered to ascertain whatever documents they need and are available with NAB, FIA or other organizations.
The special bench, to be announced by the Chief Justice on appropriate time, can decide a reference or otherwise after complete report is submitted before it.
APP/Ihsan/anm