Panama verdict: SC rejects JIT nominations by SBP, SECP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the nominations submitted by the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan for the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which has been tasked to implement the apex court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case.

A three-member special bench of the Supreme Court commenced hearing into the implementation of the Panama order today. The bench is headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprises Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

The bench has summoned State Bank governor and SECP chairman, and directed the officials to send a list of all grade 18 officers.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, in his comments during the hearing, said the court wants a neutral and clear investigation into the case.

“We want members of the JIT to be honest and competent,” he remarked.

Justice Sheikh Azmat noted the court would not accept any excuse or delay. “Do not try to trick us, we will select the officers ourselves,” he said.

The apex court adjourned the hearing to Friday, April 5 11am.

On April 20, a five-member larger bench of the apex court, in its verdict on the Panama Leaks case, had ordered the formation of a six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe corruption allegations by opposition parties against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Leaks case.

Meanwhile, the SC has also established a special section to help constitute the JIT. Additional registrar Mohammad Ali has been appointed as the coordinator and would be responsible for facilitating all communication between the JIT and the Supreme Court bench.

The JIT would submit its report on the progress in the probe to the coordinator every 15 days.

The Supreme Court had received names of the six officers who would comprise the JIT. All the relevant institutions had submitted names of the officers who would be part of the JIT, to the apex court as per the stipulated deadline.

The JIT would consist of an FIA officer, a NAB representative, an SECP officer, a State Bank of Pakistan nominee, and an officer from the ISI and MI.

“The JIT shall investigate the case and collect evidence, if any, showing that respondent No.1 [Nawaz Sharif] or any of his dependents or benamidars owns, possesses or has acquired assets or any interest therein disproportionate to his known means of income,” read the order of the apex court.

The court also ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and his two sons Hasan and Hussein Nawaz to “appear and associate themselves with the JIT as and when required”.

The investigation team has to complete its report and submit it to the apex court within 60 days of its formation.

Similar Posts