ISLAMABAD = The Supreme Court will take up the application of foreign company ‘M/s Broadsheet LLC’ for hearing wherein it has requested for the provision of Volume 10 of the Panama Joint Investigation Team report to submit the same as evidence in the International Arbitration to arbitrate ‘quantum of damages’ against the National Accountability Bureau.  

A one-judge bench comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, who was one of the members of larger-bench hearing the Panama Case, will take up the application and Registrar’s objection over the application for hearing today (Thursday).

However, the hearing on the application requesting provision of Volume. 10 of JIT Report and objections will be conducted in-chamber. 

Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa will appear on behalf of M/s Broadsheet to plead the application. The foreign company M/s Broadsheet LLC had started working in 2000 for and on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and NAB for detecting and recovering hidden and unlawfully obtained assets of corrupt high ranking persons.

However, disputes in respect to the agreement between the parties arose thereafter the issue was referred to Arbitration in London.

The litigation before the sole Arbitrator Sir Anthony Evans resulted in the Interim Award in terms of liability and the Award is enforceable in Pakistan under Section 4&6 of the Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) 2011.

However, the final award on ‘quantum of damages’ is awaited which would be awarded upon submission of the missing information to be made available to arbitrator. The next date of hearing in arbitration scheduled to begin on July 16, 2018 in London.

“The copy (Vol.10) sought from this honourable court will help arbitrate the quantum of damages issues pending in the arbitration, which is necessitated in the interest of justice in furtherance of the international commitments of NAB,” the instant application moved in top court stated.

“If Volume.10 is released to the petitioner (M/s Broadsheet LLC), the same public policy could be put to use other than the prosecutorial one. It will form a cause of action to recover the assets not  only disclosed therein but also the ones beyond this part of JIT report and will help encourage investors engaged by the Government of Pakistan / National Accountability Bureau.  Such an outcome would benefit the people and public interests of the Republic,” it added. The application contended that the covenants of the assets recovery agreement, as directed by Sir Anthony Evans, require all the parties to get a copy of Volume.10 to be put into recovery operations as milestone and guidepost.

“Through the release sought, this court will aid in honouring an international commitment made by the Government of Pakistan / NAB and thereby aid in meeting the ends of justice,” it added.  The application next contended that the high state functionaries have been appearing in the arbitration proceedings in London and only the certified copies of volume.10 of JIT’s report required to be produced for logical conclusion.

“Therefore, the release of the same will meet the ends of justice whereas the non-release will create complications towards the fulfilment of International obligations by the state of Pakistan,” it added.

“It is significant to state herein that amongst the delineated persons / families, whose assets and properties illegally stashed inside and outside Pakistan be dug out and unearthed, Mian Nawaz Sharif figures are at the top of the list,” the application also added.