ISLAMABAD Admitting petitions by the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and others on the memogate scandal for hearing on Thursday, the Supreme Court constituted a judicial commission under former FIA DG Tariq Masood Khosa to probe the matter. A nine-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also issued notices to the president, the army chief, ISI DG and others asking them to file their replies within 15 days, besides barring former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani from leaving the country. The court observed that prima facie the memo contained highly objectionable material, which was against the sovereignty, security and independence of Pakistan. The SC accepting the petitions for hearing, in its order said Article 5 binds every citizen to be faithful to country and the memo raised questions over countrys sovereignty. Action should be taken against those involved, it said. The chief justice in his remarks said that the scandal had civil and military implications and that military courts had the authority to act on the information. He further said that newspapers had been reporting that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had investigated the issue, adding that Husain Haqqanis resignation did not prove the charges that were being levelled. The prime minister had announced that a Parliamentary Committee on National Security will probe the matter. The court noted under the rules the parliamentary committee has no mandate to probe such scam; as it has no constitutional backing in this regard. The parliamentary committee was however asked to share its findings with the commission. The court also directed the authorities concerned to cooperate with Tariq Khosa. In the order, it was said that Tariq Khosa could take assistance from any person in collection of forensic and physical evidences. If the commission needs to travel abroad for the sake of evidence, the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Cabinet Division would make the arrangements and bear all expenditure. The commission was directed to complete its task in three weeks and send its report to the Supreme Court. It has been learnt that the commission meeting would be held in the Cabinet Division. The court judgment said there will be no compromise on sovereignty, security and independence of the country. Rehman Maliks statement has been made part of court order in which he said that the communication was between ambassador and US citizen. This is the communication through SMS and Blackberry messages, which is the clear for the investigation, the court noted. The chief justice said in this context it was written in newspapers that the government needed not to find out its enemies. Other judges on the bench are Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan and Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry. The petitions were filed by Nawaz Sharif; PML-N presidents of all provinces, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan; Watan Partys Tariq Asad; and Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar. Nawaz Sharif submitted before the court that Husain Haqqani had tendered resignation in connection with memogate issue. Mansoor Ejaz had confirmed that memo had been written at the behest and with the approval of top functionaries of Pakistan. Text of this memo had been released and US and Mike Mullen had confirmed it, he informed. Nawaz demanded that all the stakeholders should be issued notices. He said that the memo issue is of national importance and threat to the sovereignty and independence of the country, adding Pakistan is under threat. He said people are extremely worried over the prevailing situation of the country. Scandals upon scandals of the incumbent government are coming to open, he stated. Earlier during the proceeding, Justice Saqib Nisar said the Supreme Court is being regulated through Constitution, therefore how its indulgence could be warranted in term of Article 184(3) of the Constitution. He questioned why the court instead of parliament should consider this matter? Nawaz said: I wanted that parliament take up this issue but the government does not take opposition on the board, while the role of opposition is considered vital in the democracy. Nawaz argued that opposition had played pivotal role in making the parliament functional. But parliament had never been taken on board on major national issues. Government never implements parliament resolutions, he pleaded. The PML-N chief said that the parliament did not do anything on memo scandal. Two months after the Abbottabad incident the briefing was given in the joint parliament session and it had passed a resolution but that was not implemented. It has been learnt from media that nothing has been done so far in this respect, he pointed out. Parliament does not take notice of corruption. If the case is sent to the parliament, nothing would come out. He said in that scenario he had no option but to knock the door of the apex court. If that scandal had happened in my tenure, I would have resigned. Jawwad S Khawaja said: We have to ascertain the facts. The chief justice remarked that one aspect of the issue is criminal and the trial court take up the criminal matters and for that you have to collect the evidence. The pressing issue here is whether matter is criminal or civil? The parliament could proceed in civil issues, but when the court is seized with the criminal matters then you have to provide forensic evidence. The chief justice said that in Watergate scandal former US president Richard Nixon faced Senate standing committee and also the proceeding initiated in the criminal court. He only resigned when the US Supreme Court took up the matter and a judge pointed out the tampering. Nawaz Sharif arguing his case said that the government would never order inquiry against its own ambassador. The government was fully protecting Husain Haqqani. He remarked that how an ambassador could write secrete memo to Mike Mullen on his own. He said the Supreme Court recovered laundered money of this country. He said the memo controversy has defamed democracy and they were paying its price. India was given the status of MFN, but parliament was not taken into confidence. Almost every day there are scandals against the incumbent government. Nawaz Sharif clarified that he did not come to the court to criticise President Asif Ali Zardari, but to get relief. Justice Saqib Nisar said the court has inquisitorial power. Referring the cases of Jamal Shah and Pervaiz Elahi, he said that in Pervaiz Elahi case a five-member bench of the Lahore High Court used the power to collect evidences. Ishaq Dar, another petitioner said due to the efforts of PML-N Article 19A was inserted in the constitution. He said that after the issue of memo scandal on November 21 he wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Security. Justice Saqib Nisar asked that if the parliament had taken prompt action, have you come to the apex court even then? Justice Tariq Pervaiz inquired whether Nawaz Sharif is directly aggrieved party. Ishaq Dar said every citizen of Pakistan is hurt by the memo. Justice Tassadque Jillani questioned what the mandate of the Parliamentary Committee was and did the Chief of Army Staff and ISI DG attend the last meeting? Ishaq Dar said in All Parties Conference a resolution was passed, but only 10 per cent of its recommendations were implemented. The chief justice asked whether the committee has the mandate to examine criminal or civil action against the persons for their negligence if there will be attack on the sovereignty of the country. The chief justice said that Mansoor Ijaz has involved the most respected and high official of the country President of Pakistan. What is the responsibility of the parliamentary committee, questioned Jawwad S Khawaja. And does the issue at hand falls in the ambit or review of the Parliamentary Committee mandate. The attorney general said the committee can summon anyone and record its statement in accordance with the rules and regulation. The committee does not have the mandate to solve the memo issue. Justice Saqib said that before probing the matter the evidence must be secured. Ishaq Dar said the material is with the army intelligence. He said that in the Watergate scandal, the US Supreme Court ultimately had to intervene and pointed out that there was tampering in the record. The committee is object specific. Khawaja Asif another petitioner said that the executive held parliament and the committee hostage. After finding the the parliament dysfunctional, he had resorted the court, he added. He said that president could not be separated from this issue. The hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period.