Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
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Supreme Court of Pakistan will announce its verdict on the Panamagate case on Thursday (tomorrow) at 2:00pm. A five-member larger bench of the Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa reserved the judgement in the matter on February 23, announcement of which after 57 days is supposed to have far-reaching consequences being a historic decision. Petitioner parties and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have signalled confidence in the apex court in the matter by accepting the upcoming court decision.

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, President Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Emir Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq had invoked the apex court's jurisdiction seeking various remedies including disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members over alleged illegalities in offshore assets in the Panamagate scandal.

On January 01 last, soon after assuming his charge as Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had formed a five-member larger bench led by the senior puisne judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh and Justice Ijazul Ahsan to hear the pleas from January 04.

Throughout the adjudication, the bench tried to ascertain money trail of Sharif family in the context of Mayfair properties in London and the exact date of the title transfer of the properties whose ownership was not in question. The larger bench had repeatedly observed during the proceedings of the case that both sides are doing their best to hide tangible facts and ensure that the court would eventually have to form a commission to decide the Panamagate case.

On one point of the proceedings, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa had observed decisions are always announced under the law which become precedents and are cited even after two decades. Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh had said that the court will decide the matter in accordance with law instead of making anybody happy because everybody has to die. While reserving judgement in the matter on February 23, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa had observed that it was not a case where a short order could be passed saying the court would announce the verdict in accordance with the law after considering the material submitted in the case.

Talking to this correspondent, Vice Chairman of Pakistan Bar Council Dr Farogh Nasim said that a verdict having far-reaching impacts is expected in the Panamagate case, adding that an opinion premised on the observations/questions was put forth by the five learned judges during the course of the proceedings though these may not be reflected in the final verdict.

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