Web Desk Published: 9 June at 06:49 | Updated: 10 June at 02:50
Supreme Court Justice Seeks Response on Formation of Panama Papers JIT; Questions Role of Investigative Agencies
Islamabad,Supreme Court Justice Sardar Tariq Masood has called for a response regarding the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the 436 individuals named in the Panama Papers. The judge's remarks came during a hearing of Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Siraj ul-Haq's request for the apex court to investigate all those mentioned in the Panama Papers.
Justice Masood emphasized that the law cannot be bypassed and questioned why the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and other anti-corruption institutions were not referred to in the matter. The judge raised concerns about establishing a JIT alongside existing investigative agencies and emphasized the importance of hearing from the individuals named in the Panama Papers before making any decisions.
Furthermore, Justice Masood questioned the motives behind the investigation into the Panama Papers' implicated individuals and criticized the petitioner for initially requesting the separation of the case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The judge inquired about the sudden consideration of public interest after a span of seven years.
The hearing was adjourned for one month, and the case will resume at a later date. The 2016 petition filed by Jamat-e-Islami called for an inquiry into all 436 Pakistanis mentioned in the Panama Papers, including politicians and businessmen. The petitioner sought to initiate the investigation under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, without directly naming individuals, while emphasizing the recovery of public funds and holding those responsible accountable.
The Supreme Court's response to the formation of a JIT and its subsequent investigation will shed light on the fate of the Panama Papers case and its implications for Pakistan's fight against corruption.