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SC reserves verdict in Panamagate case

SC reserves verdict in Panamagate case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict in Panamagate case filed against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family over alleged corruption.

The judgment was reserved after counsels of both sides concluded their arguments before a three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan.

Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that they will not deviate from any law while delivering judgment in the case. “We are conscious of the fundamental rights of petitioners and respondents,” he observed.

Earlier in the day, the apex court opened the ‘confidential’ volume of the Panamagate inquiry report submitted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked to probe Sharif family’s offshore wealth on July 10.

The top court bench had not made volume X public on the request of JIT head Wajid Zia, who was of the opinion that it would be helpful in carrying out further investigations.

The volume titled “Mutual Legal Assistance Requests – Ongoing” reportedly contains details of the six-member inquiry panel’s correspondence and documents obtained from foreign countries during the 60-day probe into the offshore assets of the ruling family in line with the top court’s historic April 20 verdict.

The court earlier hinted at making the volume public after lawyers of the Sharif family had objected to the JIT’s request for withholding volume X of the report, terming it a “mala fide act”. “[This] is itself a mala fide act and a breach of the Respondent No1’s [PM’s] fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 4, 9, 14, 25 and 10A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973,” said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Haris in objections filed on the JIT report.

The counsel had requested the court to provide a copy of volume X to the prime minister before proceeding further in the case. Upon this Justice Ejaz remarked that the court would open the said volume for transparency.