Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has filed another review petition against the July 28 judgment of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, asking the court to declare the verdict void and revoke it.
In a report by Terence J Sigamony in The Nation today, Sharif has raised the same points in the review petition yesterday which he had identified in his previous three petitions and the review petitions of his children and his son-in-law.
Besides Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, the ousted Premier has named the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Law and Interior Secretaries, the Federal Board of Revenue chairman and others as respondents.
Challenging the verdict, Sharif in his fresh review petition argued that not drawing a salary and not declaring it could not be made the basis for disqualification. He said that his disqualification under section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) for non-disclosure of income from Capital FZE in the nomination papers for General Elections 2013 “suffers from the error apparent on the face of the record.” He raised the following points in support of his assertion:
(a) He asked how his disqualification came about on the basis of matters concerning Capital FZE when there was no mention of the firm in the original petition filed by the plaintiffs against the Sharif family. This ground was not included in the constitutional petitions of Imran Khan, Sheikh Rasheed and Siraj ul Haq, he added.
(b) Citing Pakistan’s income tax laws, according to which a salary is that which has been received by a filer, Sharif maintained that he could not be disqualified even if he were to declare his salary from his son’s company.
(c) The former Prime Minister said a relevant forum existed to deal with the matter of non-declaration of assets and had the Supreme Court referred the matter to that forum [Election Commission], he would have had the chance to defend himself.
(d) No notice of taking up this ground to disqualify him was ever issued by the court nor was he called upon to make any submission on the jurisdictional or legal aspects of this issue, the former PM contended.
(e) Sharif also pointed out that the judgment for his disqualification was issued on the ‘admission’ of his counsel but the bench did not consider his written submission regarding the matter.
In his review petition, Nawaz also objected that the defendants’ reservations regarding the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) were dismissed without due consideration, despite the fact that the nomination and approval of the JIT members were marred by a controversy originating because of a WhatsApp call.
According to The Nation report, the former PM submitted that the request, made in the judgment, for nominating the apex court judge to supervise and monitor the filing of references in the NAB and then the proceedings of the accountability court tantamount to arrogating the apex court role.
The petitioner has objected to the commendations and appreciations of the work of the JIT members and their subordinate staff and termed it a gross transgression of his fundamental rights to fair trial and foreclosing his right to challenge the credibility and biases of the JIT members.
The former PM maintained that asking the trial court to wrap up its proceedings within six months would affect the verdict. No law in Pakistan allowed for the monitoring of a trial court and thus the SC’s order to conduct such monitoring was against the law, he asserted.
Sharif has already filed three review petitions against the verdict announced by the five-member Supreme Court bench on April 20.
With inputs from UNI