Supreme Court reserves verdict on Sharif Family’s review petitions

ISLAMABAD: A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict on a set of review petitions filed by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family against the July 28 verdict.

The bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, reserved the verdict after Advocate Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for Sharif’s children – Hussain, Hassan, Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar – concluded his arguments.

Salman adopted the arguments of Khawaja Harris, the Sharif’s lawyer, with regard to the appointment of a monitoring judge of SC to oversee proceedings against members of the Sharif family in trial court.

The counsel for Sharif and finance minister Ishaq Dar had already completed their arguments yesterday.

Awami Muslim League (AML) Chairman Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also put forward his arguments on his petition against the NAB for failing to file an appeal for re-opening of the Hudaibiya Papers Mills case

The bench disposed of his petition after an assurance by the NAB to file an appeal in the top court in this regard within a week.

The ousted prime minister and his children have approached the apex court seeking review of its July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.

During hearing on Thursday,  Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had observed that the apex court had in the past provided relief to Nawaz Sharif and asked him to have trust in the court.

“Do not give the impression that the Supreme Court has become a complainant [against Sharif],” he said.

“Whenever cases were established against Sharif in violation of legal provisions, it was this Supreme Court that safeguarded him.”

Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris said that Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution could not be applied to anyone for merely concealing assets.

He had been unable to know any precedents in which the court had disqualified a public representative under Article 62 for concealing assets, he argued.

Cautioning long-lasting adverse outcomes of a lifetime disqualification term, the council claimed that the Constitution does not specify such kind of disqualification under Article 62.

“My client has been disqualified for a lifetime on not disclosing his work permit and salary from an offshore company, [however] nullifying general elections could only dismiss him for a single election term [five-year term],” he further said.

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