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    Tuesday, 20 June 2017

    Apex court rejected petition of Hussain Nawaz in picture leak issue

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected petition of Hussain Nawaz in picture leak issue, which was reserved June 14 just a day before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was to appear before the Panama papers Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
    The petition sought stoppage of video recording of Panama papers case JIT proceedings and leaking of Hussain Nawaz photograph.
    A three-member special implementation bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan heard the case filed by Hussain Nawaz.
    Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan read out the verdict.
    It said that the JIT can record the proceedings but cannot use them as evidence.
    During the course of proceedings, Advocate Khawaja Haris Ahmad counsel for Hussain Nawaz appeared before the bench and said that video recording of JIT proceedings should not be allowed. He alleged that JIT had no control over CCTV cameras.
    Khawaja Haris expressed concern over leaking of his client’s picture and said that after leaking of the photo, a video could also be leaked.
    What was the guarantee that a video would not be leaked, he asked.
    Justice Ejaz remarked that video recording was done for maintaining accurate transcripts. The facts of the case could not be affected by the procedure and nature of statements also did not change because of it, he added.
    Justice Azmat Saeed observed that the proceedings’ recordings would help the petitioner more than it could hurt him. Justice Azmat Saeed asked the attorney general if he had read the JIT’s report submitted in the court on Monday. The attorney general replied that he had not read it so far.
    The bench directed the attorney general to examine the JIT report and submit his response on Thursday. After listening to the arguments, the court reserved the judgment over the issue pertaining to leaking of Hussain Nawaz’s picture and video recording of JIT proceedings and adjourned the hearing of the case till Thursday.The federal government seems focused on influencing public opinion through the media rather than presenting a solid case on its apprehensions regarding the Panamagate probe in court, Supreme Court judges remarked Tuesday.
    Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan — who heads a three-member special bench of the Supreme Court implementing the Panama Papers case verdict — reiterated that the JIT is working on the directive of the SC : therefore, any concerns regarding its functioning should be addressed directly to the court instead of being spread through media.
    "The media cannot be blamed for this since institutions provide them with prepared material," he added.
    He clarified that the court wants its proceedings to reach the people, not rumours, adding that: "there is no point in circulating baseless information in media".
    Lending his voice on the issue, Justice Azmat Saeed commented that if one was to go by the day's newspapers, it would appear that the Attorney General's services were no longer required.
    "The media seems to have already handed out the verdict on channels and newspapers," he remarked. "Reports suggest that the government is getting [such reports] published itself."
    "[Nonetheless,] media reports cannot influence the court and we know what needs to be done," he continued.
    "We are not as immature as to not understand what is happening here," he concluded.
    Justice Afzal also reiterated that the respondents (the Sharif family) could not be given months to submit their answers, as the JIT had to complete its proceedings in days.
    The court postponed the hearing till after the Eid holidays, and said it would fix a date depending on the availability of the members of the bench.
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    Item Reviewed: Apex court rejected petition of Hussain Nawaz in picture leak issue Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar