ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday adjourned hearing of the Panama papers leak case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family for holding undisclosed offshore assets till January next year.
When the court will resume hearing, the new Chief Justice (CJ) Mian Saqib Nisar, who will take oath on Dec 31, will form a new larger bench to hear the case. The case will be heard from the beginning before the new bench, the outgoing CJ Anwar Zaheer Jamali said, adding the lawyers will have to present evidence again before the new bench.
Unconvinced with the way, the petitioners and the government, developed their case over nine days of proceedings of the scam, the Supreme Court on Wednesday had proposed formation of a commission for a thorough, independent probe of the opposition allegations, the government claims and the documentary evidence brought to light by the Panama Papers leak.
The court had asked the counsels for PM and the PTI chief to come up with their stance after seeking instructions on forming the judicial commission.
The court’s Friday’s decision to adjourn the case was taken shortly after Naeem Bokhari, the counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the petitioner, announced the party’s decision to boycott a commission, if it is formed, to probe the Panama scam.
Salman Aslam Butt, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel, said the PM will have no issue if an inquiry commission is formed. Akram Sheikh, the lawyer representing Sharif’s children also said that he was in favour of the formation of a commission.
Rejecting the formation of a judicial commission, Imran Khan, the PTI supremo, demanded that the Supreme Court directly and itself settle the case.
“We will not let this case be forgotten… it will not die down. While the case is adjourned we will go to the public,” Khan told media after the court hearing.