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Panama verdict implementation: SC special bench starts hearing today

ISLAMABAD: The Special Bench of the Supreme Court will commence today (Wednesday) hearing into the implementation of the order of the apex court in the Panama Papers case.

According to Supplementary Cause List of the apex court for May, 3, 2017, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsen, will start hearing today (Wednesday) at 1:30pm in the Panama implementation case.

On April 20, a five-member larger bench of the apex court, while announcing its verdict on the PanamaLeaks, had ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the matter.

The court held that the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) would be requested to constitute the Special Bench to ensure implementation of this judgment, so that the investigation into the allegations may not be left in a blind alley.

The court had ruled in the judgment that investigation is required in the matter and ordered the formation of a JIT headed by an official from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which will submit its report within 60 days.

The court had directed that the JIT shall submit its periodical reports every two weeks before the Special Bench. The court held that in normal circumstances, such exercise could be conducted by the NAB but when its chairman appears to be indifferent and even unwilling to perform his part, constitute a JIT headed by a senior officer of the FIA, not below the rank of Additional Director General, with a team having firsthand experience of investigation into white collar crime and related matters, a representative of the NAB, a nominee of the Security & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) familiar with the issues of money laundering and white collar crimes, a nominee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The court had directed that seasoned officers of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) nominated by its director general and a seasoned officer of Military Intelligence (MI) nominated by its director general, be included in the JIT. The court directed that heads of the aforesaid departments/ institutions shall recommend nominees for the JIT within seven days from the date of announcement of the verdict. In pursuance of the court’s directives, all relevant institutions have submitted names of the officers who would be part of the JIT to the apex court as per the stipulated deadline.

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