Single judge bench to probe into Panama Papers

Declaring maintainable all petitions pertaining to Panama charges, Supreme Court said Thursday a single member bench comprising a sitting judge of the Supreme Court will be constituted for investigation into Panama Papers.

Hearing petitions over corruption charges leveled in Panama Papers, Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that the commission will have all the powers of the apex court.

Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that the court will not drag proceedings of the case. He made it clear that the court will not be bound to the terms of reference of the parties rather it will be for the bench to fix the terms of reference for the commission.

Earlier, the counsel of the government, Salman Butt presented before the court the reply of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt, in his reply, submitted that he does not own any offshore entity, adding no estates mentioned in Panama Leaks belong to Nawaz Sharif. The reply states that the Prime Minister regularly pays taxes as per the law and submits the details of assets with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The bench observed that the case will not be allowed to linger on and the respondents will have to face consequences if they fail to submit reply.

The apex court directed the counsel to submit the replies of remaining respondents on the next hearing on Monday. The parties have also been asked to submit their terms of references on that day.

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