ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance has written a letter to the Attorney General of Pakistan seeking tax records of the Sharif family and others, which were provided to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the Panama Papers case.

Last week, Senate Standing Committee on Finance Chairman Senator Saleem Mandviwalla also wrote a letter to the Supreme Court Registrar asking to provide the tax data of the Sharif family and others, which had been provided to the JIT.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had already declined to accede to the request and the matter was referred to the law ministry. The law ministry said that the FBR could not share information with the parliamentary committee under the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 (ITO).

“The Senate Standing Committee is cognizant about Article 73 of the Constitution deals with the Money Bill and has only given recommendatory powers to the senate committees on the fiscal and tax matters to be adopted in the Money Bill. Committee has no objections/differences with the FBR, but the committee is asking for sharing the documents which were provided to the JIT under the Rules 166 (4) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 and under Article 66 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan ,” the Senate committee chairman said in the letter written to the Attorney General of Pakistan .

He further said that it was pertinent to state that the Senate Committee on Finance was not listed in Rule 158 [The Rules] and the fact that the Senate standing committees including the finance committee were constituted by the Senate chairman under the delegated powers by the Senate House under the Rule 158 with all the powers of the standing committee stipulated under Rule 166 (4) and its Chairman has the power under the Article 66 (3) of the Constitution for the summoning and production of the documents.

“We are here basing our authority on a constitutional provision 66 (3) and the Rule 166 (3) in the Senate Rules 2012. It has been in many cases that all agencies and courts, within their sphere, must ensure the implementation of the rules of law by following the dictum and provisions laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan ,” Mandviwalla added.

He further said that the committee was looking forward to resolving the matter with the office of Attorney General of Pakistan as soon as possible, failing which the committee shall be obliged to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for clarification.