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    Thursday, 22 June 2017

    Panamagate probe: Third JITreport submitted to Supreme Court-FBR non-cooperative

    The Supreme Court-sanctioned joint investigation team (JIT) investigating Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's business dealings abroad on Thursday submitted its third progress report to the three-member special bench implementing the apex court's verdict on the Panamagate case.
    After reviewing the report, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who heads the bench, expressed anger on being told once again that various departments of the government are continuing to refuse cooperation with the JIT.
    Justice Ijazul Ahsan, on asking whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had provided the JIT the information it had requested, was told that the SECP had provided some documents while the FBR had provided nothing, even though they had been asked thrice.
    Justice Azmat Saeed said that such behaviour was not acceptable and the departments should cooperate with the JIT on the SC's orders.
    He also asked if there were any details of where the records were kept. "Are they lost or stolen?" he questioned.
    "No good will come out of this for the departments if they delay the process by dragging their legs," Justice Ahsan warned.
    The attorney general, who was subsequently called to the bench to explain the lack of cooperation from government departments, said that a list of required records should be provided to him and the government would ensure that the JIT is given access to them.
    The attorney general said the head of the FBR should be summoned to court to answer its questions; however, it should be known that the department only keeps records for a particular period of time.
    Justice Afzal maintained that the FBR had never informed the court about any such constraint and said the department's chairman would be called in for questioning if need be.
    The bench nonetheless instructed the JIT to provide a list of all records required from the FBR and reiterated that the JIT should complete its investigation in the given time and submit its final report by July 10.
    The court also discussed the matter of the JIT photo leak, observing that Hussain Nawaz had moved the court to create a judicial commission.
    The court instructed the attorney general to find out if the government had any reservations about the name of the person who leaked the photo being disclosed.

    Justice Khosa to be acting chief justice.

    Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will be taking charge on June 29 as the acting Chief Justice of Pakistan in the absence of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who is proceeding on leave.
    FBR IS NOT COOPERAING: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), tasked to probe the Sharif family’s assets, has informed the Supreme Court (SC) that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is not providing complete wealth record of the ruling family.

    During Thursday’s hearing of the Panamagate case by a three-judge implementation bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, JIT head Wajid Zia said the probe body wrote three letters to the revenue board, asking whether the record was not submitted by the Sharifs or if it was stolen from the FBR office, but no reply was received.
    Expressing serious concern and indignation, the top court bench observed that it was a clear case of defiance shown by the institution. “Does this mean the record has been stolen?” asked Justice Ijazul Ahsan, observing that the court may summon FBR head if record was not provided.
    Another member of the bench, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, observed that the ‘foot-dragging’ would not go in favour of the ruling family.
    “No foot dragging. We are at the last scratch of the investigation. Our patience is running out,” Justice Azmat asked the AGP.
    The bench went on to ask the JIT head to submit a complete list of documents which are not being provided by the FBR. However, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali assured the bench that the available record would soon be provided to the JIT.
    Meanwhile, in response to an inquiry made by the bench members, Zia said the investigative body did not reveal the name of the person who leaked Hussain Nawaz’s picture during interrogation for security reasons.
    Upon this, the bench asked the AGP to submit a written response on behalf of the government to ascertain whether it had any reservation on the disclosure of the suspect’s identity. “The AGP has better sense of security concerns and if he does not have an objection on the disclosure of the person’s name then the JIT should have no issue,” Justice Khan remarked.
    The bench further directed the JIT to submit its final investigation report on July 10.
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    Item Reviewed: Panamagate probe: Third JITreport submitted to Supreme Court-FBR non-cooperative Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar