Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was disqualified Friday by the Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict, following a judicial probe under Article 62 of the Constitution.
“Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of Representation of Peoples Act and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan and therefore he is disqualified to be a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora,” the decision of the five-member bench said about Nawaz Sharif, who still had almost a year in power.
The court in its final verdict termed Nawaz Sharif’s failure to disclose his “un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE” in the general election of 2013 – the major reason for his disqualification.
“The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is required to take all necessary steps under the Constitution to ensure continuation of the democratic process,” the order added.
The five-member larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Shiekh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan unanimously disqualified
the prime minister.
The bench had earlier ordered formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) after a trial, on a number of
petitions that sought answers to questions raised by a trove of secret documents unearthed by an International Consortium of Journalists that exposed how politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen had stashed away billions of dollars of their wealth, ostensibly to save tax in the safe havens of Panama.
The PTI filed its petition on August 29, 2016 seeking the prime minister’s disqualification, which along with others of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed of Awami Tehreek and Jamat-e-Islami, was accepted by the court in October.
The six-member JIT headed by an additional director of the Federal Investigation Agency and members from Securities and Exchange Commission, State Bank of Pakistan, National Accountability Bureau, Military Intelligence and Inter Services Intelligence, in a 60-day probe submitted the ten-volume report.
Announcing the verdict, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said the judgment was in continuation of judgments dated 20-04-2017 in constitution petitions No 29, 30 of 2016 and constitution petition No 03 of 2017, which ended up in the following order of the court: “By a majority of 3 to 2 (Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and Gulzar Ahmed,
JJ) dissenting, who have given separate declarations and directions, we hold that the questions how did Gulf Steel Mill come into being; what led to its sale; what happened to its liabilities; where did its sale proceeds end up; how did they reach Jeddah, Qatar and the UK; whether respondents No 7 and 8 in view of their tender ages had the means in the early nineties to possess and purchase the flats; whether sudden appearance of the letters of Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani is a myth or a reality; how bearer shares crystallized into the flats;
who, in fact, is the real and beneficial owner of M/s Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, how did Hill Metal Establishment come into existence; where did the money for Flagship Investment Limited and other companies set up/taken over by respondent No 8 come from, and where did the working capital for such companies come from and where do the huge sums running into millions gifted by respondent No 7 to respondent No 1 drop in from, which go to the heart of the matter and need to be answered. Therefore, a thorough investigation in this behalf is required.”
The court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to issue a notification disqualifying Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) with immediate effect, whereafter he shall cease to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The court stated that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) shall within six weeks from the date of this judgment prepare and file before the Accountability Court, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, the following References, on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the Joint Investigating Team (JIT) in its report and such other material as may be available with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB having any nexus with assets mentioned below or which may subsequently become available including material that may come
before it pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance requests sent by the JIT to different jurisdictions:- a) Reference against Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, (respondents No. 1), Maryam Nawaz Sharif (Maryam Safdar), (Respondent No. 6), Hussain Nawaz Sharif (Respondent No. 7), Hassan Nawaz Sharif (Respondent No. 8) and Capt. (Retd).
Muhammad Safdar (Respondent No. 9) relating to the Avenfield properties (Flats No. 16, 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom). In preparing and filing this Reference, the NAB shall also consider the material already collected during the course of investigations conducted earlier, as indicated in the detailed judgments; b) Reference against respondents No. 1, 7 and 8regarding Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment, as indicated in the main judgment; c) Reference against respondents No. 1, 7 and 8
regarding the Companies including Flagship Investments Limited, Hartstone Properties Limited, Que Holdings Limited, Quint Eaton Place 2 Limited, Quint Saloane Limited (formerly Quint Eaton Place Limited), Quaint Limited, Flagship Securities Limited, Quint Gloucester Place Limited, Quint Paddington Limited (formerly Rivates Estates Limited), Flagship Developments Limited, Alanna Services Limited (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron Inc, Ansbacher Inc, Coomber Inc; and Capital FZE (Dubai). d) Reference against Ishaq Dar (respondent No. 10) for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income, as discussed in the judgment unanimous rendered by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan; e) NAB shall also include in the proceedings all other persons including Sheikh Saeed, Musa Ghani, Kashif Masood Qazi, Javaid Kiyani and Saeed Ahmed, who have any direct or indirect nexus or connection with the actions of respondents No. 1, 6, 7, 8 and 10 leading to acquisition of assets and funds beyond
their known sources of income;
f) NAB may file supplementary Reference(s) if and when any other asset, which is not prima facie reasonably accounted for, is discovered;
g) The Accountability Court shall proceed with and decide the references within a period of six months from the date of filing such References; and h) In case the Accountability Court finds any deed, document or affidavit filed by or on behalf of the respondent(s)or any other person(s) to be fake, false, forged or fabricated,
it shall take appropriate action against the concerned person in accordance with law.
The bench requested the chief justice to nominate a judge of this court to supervise and monitor implementation of this judgment in letter and spirit and oversee the proceedings conducted by NAB and the Accountability Court in these matters.
The court commends and appreciates the hard work and efforts made by Members of the JIT and their support and ancillary staff in preparing and filing a comprehensive and detailed report as per our orders. Their tenure of service shall be safeguarded and protected and no adverse action of any nature including transfer and posting shall be taken against them without informing the monitoring Judge of this Court nominated by the chief justice.