The Panamagate hearing entered its second week on Monday, with the bench observing that the Sharif family had submitted incomplete documents.
The PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari had said that Hussain Nawaz had gifted Rs810 million to Nawaz Sharif. However, no tax had been paid on the amount. He added that when Hussain Nawaz moved abroad his NTN became dysfunctional.
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that one needs an NTN to exchange gifts. The court added that proof for exchange of gifts may be demanded.
Bukhari argued that it would be difficult to proceed with the case without finding out undisclosed income sources of Hussain Nawaz. The Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) should have asked Nawaz Sharif what business his son did, he added.
Justice Gulzar said that if transactions are done through the bank then there is no objection.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that if the property belonged to Qatar then there was no question of money transfer.
Justice Azmat Saeed said that the Sharifs had declared offshore companies in 2006.
In the hearing, Naeem Bukhari lurched himself into the unchartered territory of Hudaibiya Paper Mills Case during his arguments, upon which he was reprimanded by Justice Khosa as he was delving a case whose reference was quashed by NAB in the past.
Mr. Bukhari initiated his arguments by making a reference to Qatari Prince letter. ‘The Prime Minister said in his speech that he has complete record of transaction, however, he has not presented the record of Steel Mills Jeddah,’ he argued. Justice Azmat Saeed asked PTI council that has he any evidence to link offshore companies with this transaction. Bukhari choose to continue with his other arguments.
Bukhari argued before the bench that the Prime Minister had a history of involvement in a number of benami transactions in which he funnelled money for London flats.
To which Justice Khosa reminded him that the burden of proof lies squarely on the shoulders of his client to prove the manner in which these companies were bought, the money provided and their ownership.
PTI Counsel Advocate Naeem Bukhari was to conclude his arguments today before the 5-member bench of Supreme Court, but he couldn’t wrap up his arguments.
Jehangir Khan Tareen relayed communication between PTI supremo Imran Khan and Counsel Advicate Naeem Bukhari during the hearing. At one point, Justice Azmat Saeed made a snide remark on the continuous meddling and demanded that the counsel be left alone to argue.
“It’s elementary, my dear Watson,’ remarked Justice Asif Saeed Khoosa, when PTI Counsel stressed importance and veracity of the contents of Trust Deed submitted by Sharif family Counsel.
The court repeatedly pointed out that PTI Counsel is digressing from the subject matter under consideration.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading the 5-member Bench before adjourning the hearing till Tuesday, rhetorically asked PTI Counsel Advocate Naeem Bukhari that why the Bench is spending so much time and taking pains to arrive at the truth. ‘Because the judgment will set a precedent for all times to come,’ said Justice Khosa. He further said that the case is one of its own kind and the court does not want to rush it.
Justice Khosa further said that the judgment in this case will lay down parameters and the court must make sure that it will set a correct precedent for all such future cases involving politicians. ‘If that’s the matter, only Sartaj Aziz will be spared,’ he observed.
On Monday, the hearing of Panamagate was moved from Courtroom No. 2 to Courtroom No. 1 which is the largest, most spacious Courtroom in Supreme Court. While journalists and even political leaders used to stand during the hearing in Courtroom No. 2, the decision to shift the hearing to Courtroom No. 1 put an end to the congestions witnessed during the last hearing, when the attendants were packed like sardines in the courtroom.
Jamaat-e-Islami supremo Siraj-ul-haq, PTI Chief Imran Khan, Jahangir Tareen, Sheikh Rashid, Naeem-ul-Haq, Talal Chaudhary, Maryam Aurangzaib, Danyal Aziz, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf were present during the hearing.