Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
Home »General News » Pakistan » JIT’s mandate to probe Panama Papers case comes to an end tomorrow
The Supreme Court (SC) would conclude the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probe on 10 July (tomorrow) irrespective of whether the Sharif family has extended its cooperation or not, an anecdotal survey of the legal fraternity revealed. At the conclusion of the 60 days, the JIT is scheduled to submit its final report before the implementation bench of the apex court tomorrow. Talking to Business Recorder, former president Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Barrister Ali Zafar said that the JIT has performed its task well in accordance with legal standards.

Zafar added that in case the JIT requires additional time to further probe any particular line of inquiry, particularly on any matter requiring accessing information outside Pakistan, it can seek the apex court's directives when submitting its final report. Responding to a query Zafar said that if the JIT requested cooperation from any government institution and cooperation was not forthcoming then, technically, it would amount to contempt of court.

"Once a final report is given, the court will only consider technical objections regarding the report and then decide the matter expeditiously within a minimum period", Barrister Ali Zafar said. The SCBA general secretary Aftab Bajwa said that in the present circumstances there is lot of pressure on the JIT and maintained that it has been denied access to information that would have enabled it to dig out the truth about the ownership and date of ownership of the properties in question.

He further contended that the government did not enable the JIT to approach Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani and added that whatever the JIT concludes in the matter would be considered final. Talking to Business Recorder, former vice president Ikram Chaudhry said that it was the responsibility of the Sharif family to reveal details of their businesses and produce evidence about their properties in question before the JIT.

Chaudhry said that the onus of proof lies with the respondents with reference to the sale of Gulf Steel Mills and ownership of the properties in question in the case. Responding to a question Chaudhry said that in the event that the Sharif family failed to respond to JIT's queries it would be to their own detriment; the JIT would not suffer in any case because it will merely place the final report before the Supreme Court to decide in the Panama Paper case.

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