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PM’s counsel continues arguments as Panamagate case hearing resumes

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan on Monday resumed his arguments in the Panamagate case hearing.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is hearing the case.

Justice Khosa enquired how long the PMs counsel would take to finish his arguments, to which Makhdoom Ali Khan replied he would try to wrap up his arguments regarding Articles 62 and 63 today.

He added that he would also be talking about the PM’s speeches, Maryam Nawaz’s status as a dependent and the matter of her alleged ownership of the family’s London properties.

Earlier on Friday, Makhdoom Ali Khan impressed the courtroom by citing a 2015 SC case in which Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Ishaq Khakwani had sought disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his alleged misstatement of facts in the National Assembly on Aug 29, 2014.

Against the backdrop of the PTI-led 126-day sit-in in 2014, the prime minister had stated that his administration would never ask the armed forces to mediate and become a guarantor between the government and the protesting parties — PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek — to end their dharna on the Constitution Avenue.

In that judgement, the counsel argued, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who now heads the five-judge Supreme Court bench hearing the Panama leaks case, had observed that Article 62(1-f), which spells out qualifications and disqualifications of parliamentarians, was a nightmare and a feat of obscurity.

The counsel wondered how the Supreme Court can disqualify the prime minister without determining the standard of proof and procedures to be adopted for disqualification on a provision which a bench of the apex court had described as a nightmare.


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