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Bridging The Gap
SC to announce Panamagate case verdict on April 20
  Tuesday 18 April, 2017
SC to announce Panamagate case verdict on April 20

ISLAMABAD:
The Supreme Court will announce the much-awaited verdict in the Panamagate case on Thursday, according to a notification issued by the registrar.

The five-judge bench of the top court reserved its verdict in the case on February 23. The case will be heard in Court Room 1 at 2pm and those possessing security clearance passes will be allowed to attend the hearing.

On April 11, a member of the bench hearing the case, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that the Panamagate verdict – which is being awaited with bated breath – will not just concern the Sharif family, but it will, in fact, set in motion a law which will be practiced for centuries.

On April 8, DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said the army, like every Pakistani, was awaiting a verdict in the Panamagate case based on justice and merit.

Legal experts expect the larger bench will interpret Articles 62, 63 and 66 of the Constitution to set parameters for qualification and disqualification of parliamentarians in the future. Article 66 specifically talks about the privileges given to MPs.

On February 23, hearing a slew of petitions against the Sharif family, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had observed that 26,000 pages were submitted in the Panamagate case and the judges will read “each word” of them. He observed that it was not a case wherein a short order could be passed.

“The court will decide the case only after considering the material submitted in the court and will announce its verdict in accordance with the law and the Constitution,” Justice Khosa remarked.

In November last year, the premier denied holding offshore companies in a written response to the Supreme Court on Panamagate petitions. In his reply, the PM said he had declared all his assets in 2013, hence was not liable for disqualification under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

The Panama Papers on April 3 revealed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s three children were among dozens of powerful people who own offshore companies in international tax havens. The revelations had whipped up a storm with political parties calling for the Sharif family’s accountability.

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