ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Finance has written a letter to the Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking tax records of Sharif’s family and others, which were provided to the joint investigation team (JIT) that probed the Panama Papers case.

The Senate Standing Committee, chaired by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, a few months back had demanded the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to provide the tax data of the Sharif family and other people, which had provided to the JIT. However, the FBR declined to accede to the request and the matter was referred to the Ministry of Law. The law ministry said that the FBR could not share information with the parliamentary committee under the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 (ITO).

Later, the Attorney General had also supported the ministry’s viewpoint. Therefore, the committee chairman has now written a letter to the Registrar Supreme Court seeking tax records of the Sharif’s family and others. “We are writing this letter to bring your attention toward a very critical and important policy and political matter relating to the Panama Papers. I being chairman of the Senate Finance Committee have the jurisdiction to inquire and investigate any such fiscal or tax related matter, which falls within the purview of the Ministry of Finance and FBR. On the heels of Panama verdict, chairman Senate and the members of the committee wanted to ascertain to complete the contours of corruption committed by the ex-PM and his family and asked the FBR to submit the record, which it had submitted to the JIT constituted by the Supreme Court,” the Chairman of Senate Committee said in the letter.

He further said that they invoked Art 66 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan, which authorises the chairman of the committee to requisite any information whenever he requires and under the Senate Rule of Business.

“The FBR invokes Section 216 of the income tax ordinance, which restricts them from supplying any information to any other body other than the civil court. Despite clear precedence of the Constitution of Pakistan over any other statue, we were refused the information we ordered and were informed that special statues prevail over the Constitution of Pakistan, which we know is a travesty of the law,” Mandviwalla added.

The letter further stated that the Senate committee is seriously pursuing this matter and is determined to take it to its logical end to ascertain the loopholes in existing legislations and statues, which allows such white colour crime in Pakistan. And as one of the pillars of the state, it is requesting your office to share with the committee the record, which was submitted by the FBR to JIT.  Such right to information is not as per the Senate rules and constitution of Pakistan only but also enshrined as the fundamental right in the constitution of Pakistan,” the letter stated.

NAB SUBMITS WEEKLY PROGRESS REPORT IN SC

Online adds: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted a weekly progress report to the monitoring judge Justice Aijazul Ahsan of the Supreme Court pertaining to the references of Sharif family.

The report includes details of proceedings of Accountability Court, indictment of Nawaz Sharif, orders of Islamabad High Court, clubbing of three references, Ishaq Dar non-appearance in the court, copies of court orders and witnesses on the ensuing proceedings.