ISLAMABAD: A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, resumed hearing on Wednesday (today) in the petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Muslim League (AML).
On the 12th day of Panamagate Case hearing, Prime Minister’s Counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan told the Supreme Court bench that the government of Pakistan owns two offshore companies.
“Two Pakistani state hotels, Roosevelt in USA and Scribe in France, are owned by offshore companies,” Makhdom Ali Khan said while giving his arguments before a five-judge larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
“Establishing offshore companies is not illegal,” the premier’s counsel maintained.
To this, Justice Khosa asked if the premier’s counsel was trying to justify his client’s offshore businesses by citing references of two state hotels. “Owning an offshore company is not an issue but the issue is of concealment of wealth and tax evasion,” the apex court judge clarified.
Justice Khosa further remarked that the top court while exercising Article 184-3 of the Constitution can examine the qualification or disqualification of the prime minister as “it is a matter of public importance.”
Meanwhile, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, during the course of hearing, observed that SC cannot disqualify PM Nawaz by relaying on disputed documents.
The premier’s counsel once again maintained before the larger bench that he was not raising objection over the maintainability of the petition against the prime minister but said, “The court cannot disqualify him on available material”.