ISLAMABAD, Sept 12 (SABAH): Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has constituted a five member larger bench to hear the review petitions field against the Panama Case decision of the Supreme Court.
Earlier, a three member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan during hearing of the review petitions in Islamabad on Tuesday sent the recommendation for formation of larger bench to the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The review petitions had been filed by former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his children against the Panama Case decision of apex court on 28th July this year.
The larger bench will be headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and will comprise Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ejazul Ahsan.
During Tuesday’s hearing, counsel for Nawaz Sharif- Khawaja Muhammad Harris and Counsel for Hassan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz – Salman Akram Raja presented their arguments.
They pleaded that as the verdict of the court was passed and signed by the five member larger bench hence the review petitions must also be heard by the larger bench otherwise it would stand overridden by that verdict.
Salman Akram Raja pleaded the court to form a five-member bench to hear their review petitions. He also pleaded that their review petition against the judgment of the five-member bench be taken up first.
Justice Ejaz observed that the three-judge bench gave the majority verdict in the Panama Papers case and that the decision would not have been different had the three-judge bench given a verdict in the case.
However, the bench accepted Raja’s plea and sent to the chief justice a request seeking formation of a five-judge bench. The hearing was then adjourned till today (Wednesday).
The children of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday filed a petition to postpone hearing of Panama papers case review petition fixed for hearing on Tuesday before the three-member bench and prayed the court to fix the matter before the five-member larger bench.
The petition submitted by Advocate Salman Akram Raja through Advocate-on-Record (AOR) Syed Riffat Hussain Shah stated that the review petition had been filed against the three-member bench’s judgment of July 28, as a matter of abundant caution to obviate the possibility of a technical objection in case the five-member bench, which had passed as per this court’s record, the final order of the court dated July 28 in the titled case, upholds the petitioner’s objections raised in the earlier/already filed review petition No. 308/2017 to the effect that the five-member bench did not have the jurisdiction to announce the judgment.