Nawaz Sharif was unanimously disqualified: SC

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ISLAMABAD: A five-member bench of the Supreme Court, hearing the Sharif family’s review petitions against the July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case, observed that all the five judges had unanimously disqualified Nawaz Sharif.
The bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijazul Ahsen, is seized with the hearing of the review petitions filed by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children – Hussain, Hassan, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Safdar.
Advocate Khawaja Harris, who is representing Sharif, argued that the July 28 verdict should have been given by a three-member bench as Justice Khosa and Justice Ahmed had already given their decision in the 3-2 split verdict on April 20, dissenting from the majority opinion that called for further investigation against the Sharif family through a joint investigation team.
He argued that the two judges should not have signed the July 28 verdict.
To which, the judges observed the three-member bench was constituted to implement the April 20 verdict, which ceased to exist soon after the completion of an investigation by the JIT. Thus, the five-judge bench was to decide the case in light of the JIT report, they added.
All five judges unanimously disqualified Sharif, though the grounds on which he was disqualified may have been different, observed Justice Khosa. He said the two judges, who had given the dissenting note, didn’t add anything in the July 28 verdict.
Harris contended his client was not afforded a fair hearing. The former prime minister should have been served a show-cause notice before dislodging him from office to explain his position, he added.
Assailing the bench’s decision to appoint a monitoring judge of the apex court to oversee proceedings against the Sharif family in accountability court, he said it was unprecedented and likely to influence the proceedings, depriving his client of right to fair trial.
Earlier on Tuesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar formed the five-judge bench on the recommendation of a three-judge bench that had taken up the application of Sharif to re-constitute a five-judge larger bench that had handed down the July 28 verdict.

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