ISLAMABAD - It was a damp and cold Islamabad morning yesterday, but the Supreme Court proceedings on the day were of a warm comfort for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

The justices grilled the prime minister’s counsel, Makhdoom Ahmed Khan, about the money trail of the London luxury apartments and demanded more details. Similarly, the lawyer representing the premier’s daughter also faced a tough time.

The Panama Papers hearing takes place every day in Room No.2 of the marbled Supreme Court building. Room No 2 has a seating capacity for 35 people, but each hearing witnesses a large number of people.

PTI and PML-N leaders and workers, security personnel and journalists jostle for space to get the best view of the unfolding drama.

A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, has been hearing the Panama leaks case against the prime minister and his children since January 2.

On Wednesday, lawyers, journalists and the assistants of the respondents’ counsels stood on both sides of the bench. Over two-dozen security personnel, mainly from Special Branch and IB, looked on. A heavy contingent of Islamabad police also stood guard in and outside the Supreme Court building.

Although there is a gallery in the courtroom, it was not opened even for the journalists despite the repeated requests made by the office-bearers of the Supreme Court Bar Association and Press Association to the SC registrar.

The petitioners, including PTI leaders, Imran Khan, Jehangir Tareen and Shah Mehmmod, Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rasheed and Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Sirajul Haq, witnessed the whole proceedings. Their faces glowed with happiness as the prime minister’s counsel came under a volley of questions by the justices. Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen, dressed in Shalwar Kameez and coats, whispered and smiled during the moments when Makhdoom Ali Khan could not respond to the judges’ queries.

Over a couple of dozen cameras are fixed on the fence of the apex court, leaving no opportunity to capture PTI and PML-N leaders. Each morning, the secretaries standing on the main gate welcome their leaders and escort them to the courtroom.

The judges’ tough questions worried the PML-N leaders, including Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Saad Rafiq and Adviser to Prime Minister on Law Barrister Zafarullah, who were present in the court. However, after the proceedings, they criticised Imran Khan while talking to media persons.

The judges, particularly Justice Khosa and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, kept on asking the counsel to tell the court when and how PM Nawaz Sharif received money from his son and gifted it to his daughter Maryam.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, who seemed confident and comfortable in the last five days, was a bit nervous when questions were pouring in from all the five judges. Makhdoom who referred to law and cited judgments from all over the world could not satisfy the five-member bench on money trail. His explanation that it came through a banking channel was not enough. The bench asked him to give dates and mode of transaction.

Justice Khosa remarked that in Pakistani culture father gives money to his children, but in this case the father receives from his son, which is also a huge amount.

Makhdoom who was thinking that his five-day arguments had satisfied the judges on dependency of Maryam Safdar on the prime minister, speeches and the allegations on tax evasion by PTI against the PM could not answer the bench on many counts. Justice Azmat remarked that although a voluminous record had been placed before the court, there was not a single paper about the basic question about the money trial.

The court, at the onset of the hearing, allowed fresh application of Jamaat-e-Islami and issued notices to the respondents, including PM Nawaz Sharif.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s petition is of a general nature and demands that all the persons having offshore companies should be probed and the alleged looted money be brought back to the country.

Another question that puzzled Makhdoom was the date mentioned on the registered sale deed and stamp papers. Justice Ijazul Ahsan noted that the date on the stamp paper used for sale deed was March 1, 2011, whereas the sale deed registration date was February 7, 2011.

At that moment, one of the PTI female members, sitting in the second row, could not control her excitement and stood from her seat and started smiling while looking at the bench. She sat down after she got a cold stare from one of the justices.

At the end of the hearing, when Shahid Hamid, counsel for Maryam, tried to clarify the dates on the stamp paper and the sale deed, Justice Khosa quipped that Hamid should not explain everything and leave something for the opposition to gossip about. Predictably, Imran Khan raised the same issue when he spoke to the news media after the hearing. Khan said the stamp papers were purchased on March 1, 2011, but the sale deed was prepared in February 7, 2011.