The Panama decision, and the ensuing review judgment, has put the legal system into a bit of a conundrum. While it is agreed that a step against corruption was definitely needed, the terms and conditions on which Sharif was ousted has set some legal predicaments for the Court; by putting a cumbersome burden on the Court to define dishonesty, it has also given leeway to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for endless complaining.

One new ground was given by Pervaiz Rasheed, PML-N leader, who in an interview with The Nation, grieved that Nawaz Sharif was not given the right to appeal, a right given to even terrorists.

While a review judgement is in itself an appeal of sorts, Pervaiz Rasheed’s point of it being unfair is valid to the extent that the appeal is being heard by the same court and the same judges, so is not a very equitable relief. The Panama case, going straight to the SC, has been a point of contention for many familiar with the legal system, since it sets aside the tradition of the trial court being the evidence collector and the higher courts deciding technical questions of law on appeal; and opens a set of questions that the Court will now have to answer.

Moreover, the Court may have set more traps for itself in the review judgement, where it clarifies that Nawaz was not ousted just for iqama but also dishonesty. This bounds the Court to define dishonesty, and follow its precedents. As seen as in the case against Jehangir Tareen and Imran, where the Court has reserved judgement, the Panama Case has set about some very complicated legal concepts to follow through.

While the judgement has given fodder for Nawaz to complain, the PML-N has gone above and beyond just grieving on a decision, and have dangerously crossed the territory of contempt of court. Pervaiz Rasheed reassures that PML-N’s reservations are only against this particular verdict and were not meant to question the ability of the apex court to deliver justice. However, this statement by Pervaiz Rasheed is a misrepresentation of the outright delegitimising challenges to the Court posed by Nawaz and Maryam. Pervaiz Rasheed himself continues to contradict his stance in the same interview, when provides the very weak justification of Hussain and Hassan Nawaz not following legal orders by saying they did not trust the system.

Thus, though the Panama Judgement may have set difficult precedents, PML-N’s direct threats to the law, and now pitiful excuses for the absence of the ex-Prime Minister’s sons, on behalf of Pervaiz Rasheed, are no way acceptable.