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SC rejected nominees of SBP on JIT

04 May, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: A special bench of the Supreme Court constituted to oversee the implementation of Panamagate verdict on Wednesday rejected the nominees of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for the joint investigation team (JIT).

The bench also summoned acting governor of SBP Riaz Riazuddin and SECP Chairman Zafarul Haq Hijazi to appear in person before the bench on May 5 with the lists of all officers of grade 18 or above.

The three-judge special bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Wednesday commenced proceedings for implementation of top court’s verdict in Panama Papers case.

During the course of hearing, Justice Khan observed that the nominations for JIT sent by SBP and SECP did not appear to be aboveboard. He observed that all matters related to the case must be open and transparent, adding that the court wants honest and professional officials with ‘diamond-like integrity’ to be the members of the JIT.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed told Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf, who was also present in the court, that as per court decision, members of the JIT would be approved by judges. He said that the list of grade 18 or above officers produced by SBP acting governor and SECP chairman would be treated as nominations and the bench would approve the names from among them. “Tell them (heads of SBP and SECP) to comply with court orders and don’t play with the court,” Justice Saeed further observed while addressing the country’s top law officer. To this, AGP Ashtar Ausaf gave assurance that he would communicate the words of the special bench to the heads of both the institutions.

Justice Ahsan reiterated and observed that this bench would not hear any excuse nor would it tolerate any delay in the matter.

The special bench for implementation of Panama verdict will again take up the matter on May 5 (tomorrow).

The JIT has been tasked to probe into alleged corruption of Sharif family and produce a report before the special bench fortnightly, with final report within 60 days. In the top court’s April 20 order, the special bench of the Supreme Court, after findings of the JIT, may also pass appropriate orders in exercise of its powers under Articles 184 (3), 187 (2) and 190 of the constitution including an order for filing a reference against PM and any other person having nexus with the crime if justified on the basis of the material thus brought on the record before it.

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