CJP forms five member bench to review Panama case verdict

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Islamabad: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has formed a five-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) to hear the Sharif family’s review petitions against the top court’s July 28 verdict in Panama Papers case. Earlier, the apex court’s three-judge bench recommended the CJP to constitute a larger bench to hear the petitions.
When the apex court’s three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the review petitions filed by the deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children, their counsels Salman Akram Raja and Khawaja Haris submitted that the five-judge larger bench was competent to hear the petitions.
Accepting their request the bench recommended that the CJP form a larger bench to hear the ruling family’s review petitions on Wednesday. The five member bench comprised of Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.
The children of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday filed a petition to postpone hearing of Panama papers case review petition fixed for hearing on Tuesday before the three-member bench and prayed the court to fix the matter before the five-member larger bench.
The Sharif family had moved two separate review petitions, challenging decisions given by a five-member bench and the other by a three-member bench of the apex court.
During the hearing, the counsel for Nawaz’s children, Salman Akram Raja, pleaded the court to form a five-member bench to hear their review petitions. He also pleaded that their review petition against the judgment of the five-member bench be taken up first.
Justice Ejaz observed that the three-judge bench gave the majority verdict in the Panama Papers case and that the decision would not have been different had the three-judge bench given a verdict in the case. However, the bench accepted Raja’s plea and sent to the chief justice a request seeking formation of a five-judge bench.

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