ISLAMABAD - It was a moment of some solace for the Sharifs as the Supreme Court on Thursday said that they (judges) were just and fair to all, therefore, they should have faith in the court instead of taking to the streets.

After his disqualification, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif headed to Lahore from Islamabad via GT Road while addressing big rallies and making speeches and raising an objection to the manner the apex court disqualified him. The former premier also criticized the superior judiciary in his addresses.

Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, heading a five-member bench hearing the review petitions against the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28, said: “This is not the first case against the Sharifs, as, in the past, cases were filed against the Sharif family and the courts provided then relief. It is a wrong impression that the Supreme Court is against them.”

He said that even the worst criminal was entitled to the protection of the law, and this court has always stood for and defended the fundamental rights of the citizens. “We are just and fair to all,” Justice Khosa said. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed also said: “Have faith in us and not in the streets.”

The counsel for Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that their clients have faith in the court, therefore, they were before them.

Justice Khosa said that during Ziaul Haq’s regime, when people were hanged publically, the Amnesty International (AI) wrote a letter to the August court against the public hanging. “The top court on the letter of the AI took suo moto notice and on its order, the public hanging was stopped,” he said.

Justice Khosa addressing both the counsel said: “There is the legislature and you [PML-N] are running all the institutions. If you want to make changes in the law or Constitution, it is up to you, but we [judges] will perform our duty what is written in the Constitution.”

Justice Azmat said that July 28 judgment has a background because when the NAB chairman expressed his inability to proceed against the Sharifs in view of the Panama Papers leaks, they issued a direction to the NAB. He questioned: “When there is an institution’s failure, then should the State of Pakistan and the judiciary also fail (in the performance of their duty).”

Justice Khosa said: “The court can’t shut its eyes to these kind of issues. “Justice may be blind but the judges are not,” he said.

When Shahid Hamid, counsel for Dar, said a vicious campaign was launched in the media against his client, Justice Azmat told him “Your and Kh Haris’s clients are leading a vicious campaign against the court”. “What goes around, comes around,” he said.

Earlier, Kh Haris said that not mentioning of assets in nomination papers has repercussion under section 14 of Representation of Peoples Act (ROPA), adding a parliamentarian should not be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of Constitution for non-disclosure of assets. He said Article 62(1)(f) pertains to honesty and truthfulness. He referred to the apex court judgments where the parliamentarians were disqualified under the provisions of ROPA for non-disclosure of assets, and not under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

He argued that the court should have looked into this fact whether not mentioning of non-withdrawn receivable was inadvertent, due to some confusion or other reasons. The court should have provided Nawaz Sharif an opportunity to appear before it and record his statement and cross-examined.

Justice Ejaz inquired would disqualification not entail under 62(1)(f) when there was a written agreement that Nawaz Sharif was entitled to a salary of 10,000 Dirham per month. He said when the evidence is in writing, then according to Article 103 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat it is irrevocable and the oral agreement has no value.

Haris contended that the JIT report only mentioned that salary was transferred into the bank account of Nawaz Sharif but did not specify the bank account number in which the salary was transferred.

He said Nawaz Sharif has declared all his bank accounts and not concealed anything and also not received the salary from Capital FZE.

Justice Ijaz said according to documents submitted to the apex court, the account of Capital FZE was opened and the salary was paid up to August 2013.

Haris argued that the reference should not have been filed on the basis of the JIT report as it was incomplete and the documents appended with it were not supported by the statement of witnesses.

Justice Ejaz said they have clarified earlier that the JIT report was just like an investigation report.

“If you think it is not in conformity to the standard then you[r client] will benefit [from its flaws]. We never said on the basis of the JIT report, you[r client] should be convicted.”

Justice Ejaz further said that in the judgment they have used the words ‘prima facie’ and everybody understands its connotation, adding they have not said the JIT report was a conclusive evidence.

“The trial in the accountability court should be dealt with in a manner which should not be different from the trial of ordinary citizens. We are not to prejudice the trial at all. Anything uttered here [in SC] is not binding on the trial court,” the judge said. He said to Haris if they have objection to any portion of the JIT report, they have right to cross-examine any member of the investigation team.

Kh Haris also objected to the nomination of a judge to supervise the proceedings in the accountability courts.

Justice Azmat said there were examples that monitoring judges were appointed. He said in view of Liaquat Hussain judgment, judges of Supreme Court and a high court were appointed as monitoring judges in Anti-Terrorism Courts.

Kh Haris replied, “They were not person specific and they were nominated to implement the guidelines laid out in that judgment”.

Shahid Hamid argued that sending his client’s (Dar) reference to the NAB was unnecessary.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said it was revealed in the JIT report that incumbent finance minister’s assets increased 91 times in 15 years.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed advised the counsel to approach the relevant forum for redressal of their “grievance as they [court] can’t modify the reference”.

Kh Haris and Shahid Hamid concluded arguments. Now Salman Akram Raja will plead the case of Nawaz Sharif’s children today (Friday).

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issued a direction to the NAB. He questioned: “When there is an institution’s failure, then should the State of Pakistan and the judiciary also fail (in the performance of their duty).”

Justice Khosa said: “The court can’t shut its eyes to these kind of issues. “Justice may be blind but the judges are not,” he said.

When Shahid Hamid, counsel for Dar, said a vicious campaign was launched in the media against his client, Justice Azmat told him “Your and Kh Haris’s clients are leading a vicious campaign against the court”. “What goes around, comes around,” he said.

Earlier, Kh Haris said that not mentioning of assets in nomination papers has repercussion under section 14 of Representation of Peoples Act (ROPA), adding a parliamentarian should not be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of Constitution for non-disclosure of assets. He said Article 62(1)(f) pertains to honesty and truthfulness. He referred to the apex court judgments where the parliamentarians were disqualified under the provisions of ROPA for non-disclosure of assets, and not under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

He argued that the court should have looked into this fact whether not mentioning of non-withdrawn receivable was inadvertent, due to some confusion or other reasons. The court should have provided Nawaz Sharif an opportunity to appear before it and record his statement and cross-examined.

Justice Ejaz inquired would disqualification not entail under 62(1)(f) when there was a written agreement that Nawaz Sharif was entitled to a salary of 10,000 Dirham per month. He said when the evidence is in writing, then according to Article 103 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat it is irrevocable and the oral agreement has no value.

Haris contended that the JIT report only mentioned that salary was transferred into the bank account of Nawaz Sharif but did not specify the bank account number in which the salary was transferred.

He said Nawaz Sharif has declared all his bank accounts and not concealed anything and also not received the salary from Capital FZE.

Justice Ijaz said according to documents submitted to the apex court, the account of Capital FZE was opened and the salary was paid up to August 2013.

Haris argued that the reference should not have been filed on the basis of the JIT report as it was incomplete and the documents appended with it were not supported by the statement of witnesses.

Justice Ejaz said they have clarified earlier that the JIT report was just like an investigation report.

“If you think it is not in conformity to the standard then you[r client] will benefit [from its flaws]. We never said on the basis of the JIT report, you[r client] should be convicted.”

Justice Ejaz further said that in the judgment they have used the words ‘prima facie’ and everybody understands its connotation, adding they have not said the JIT report was a conclusive evidence.

“The trial in the accountability court should be dealt with in a manner which should not be different from the trial of ordinary citizens. We are not to prejudice the trial at all. Anything uttered here [in SC] is not binding on the trial court,” the judge said. He said to Haris if they have objection to any portion of the JIT report, they have right to cross-examine any member of the investigation team.

Kh Haris also objected to the nomination of a judge to supervise the proceedings in the accountability courts.

Justice Azmat said there were examples that monitoring judges were appointed. He said in view of Liaquat Hussain judgment, judges of Supreme Court and a high court were appointed as monitoring judges in Anti-Terrorism Courts.

Kh Haris replied, “They were not person specific and they were nominated to implement the guidelines laid out in that judgment”.

Shahid Hamid argued that sending his client’s (Dar) reference to the NAB was unnecessary.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said it was revealed in the JIT report that incumbent finance minister’s assets increased 91 times in 15 years.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed advised the counsel to approach the relevant forum for redressal of their “grievance as they [court] can’t modify the reference”.

Kh Haris and Shahid Hamid concluded arguments. Now Salman Akram Raja will plead the case of Nawaz Sharif’s children today (Friday).