Islamabad (September 12, 2017) : Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar on Tuesday constituted a larger bench of the apex court to hear the review petitions of Sharif family against the SC verdict in Panama case.
The larger bench will comprise the five judges, who heard the Panama case. The bench will be headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, while Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed Shekih and Justice Ejazul Ahsan will be members of the bench.
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Earlier in the day, the three-member bench of the apex court had referred the review petitions of Sharif family to Chief Justice of Pakistan for constitution of larger bench.
A full bench had taken up the review petitions of Sharif family and Ishaq Dar against the July 28, 2017 decision of Supreme Court today.
At the very outset of the hearing, counsel of Nawaz Sharif children Salman Akram Raja pleaded the court for constitution of larger bench.He submitted that the court should first hear review petitions against the verdict of five member bench.
He pleaded that the 5-member larger bench should hear the petition. Upon this Justice Ejaz Afzal said that majority decision was of three members in the Panama case.Raja replied that the majority decision of 3/2 was merged into the larger bench decision pronounced on July 28, 2017.
The bench referred the petitions to Chief Justice of Pakistan for constitution of larger bench.
The bench was headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ehsan.The petitions have been filed by Nawaz Sharif, his children, son-in-law and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar seeking review of the SC’s July 28 Panama Papers case verdict.
Nawaz’s daughter Maryam, sons Hussain and Hasan, and son-in-law MNA Captain (retd) Safdar, through their counsel Salman Akram Raja, moved an application in the apex court on Monday praying that their review pleas be heard by a five-member bench, instead of the three-member bench, and that the hearing be delayed till the formation of the five-member bench.
The children of the former premier reminded the court that they had filed two separate review petitions — one against the decision of the five-member Panama case bench and the other against the decision of the three-member implementation bench, thus the application against the decision of the five-member bench should be heard first.They contended that since July 28 verdict that disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister was final, and was signed and announced by a five-member bench, therefore, the review petitions should also be heard by a five-member bench instead of a three-member bench.
The application further stated that the same five-member bench or any other bench of the same strength should be constituted to hear the review applications against the five-member bench verdict.
“In terms of legal and constitutional dispensation of the State of Pakistan, a Supreme Court bench of lesser strength cannot upset or pre-empt the decision of a larger bench,” they contended.
On August 15, the former prime minister filed three petitions in the Supreme Court to review the Panama Papers verdict which resulted in his disqualification.The petitions pleaded the apex court to dismiss the petitions filed by Sheikh Rasheed, Imran Khan and Siraj-ul-Haq.
The former prime minister, through his petition, argued that the decision passed by the court on July 28 should have been passed by a three-member bench as Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed’s jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgment on April 20.