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SC questions quality of PTI’s evidence

Updated Nov 16, 2016 10:33am


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ISLAMABAD: The Supr­eme Court on Tuesday questioned the quality of the evidence presented by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and deplored that their 680-page submission had almost nothing to do with the Sharif family’s London properties.

Pointing at PTI’s counsel Hamid Khan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed that it seemed as if the petitioners were trying to bury the truth under their evidence that consisted mostly of newspaper clippings, which were only good for selling pakoras the day after publication.

“We are at a loss to understand which lawyer is representing whom,” the judge observed, comparing the PTI’s tome of evidence to the never-ending tales from the Arabian Nights. “We spent six hours simply looking for the relevant document,” Justice Saeed deplored, asking Hamid Khan again — tongue-in-cheek — whose side he was on.

However, Mr Khan assured the court that he would focus on the controversy, but only after examining the documents submitted by the prime minister and his family, for which he needed more time.

At this point, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali regretted that both sides were using every possible device to delay the proceedings. He observed that day by day, the court’s perception that the controversy could be settled without appointing a commission was being proven wrong.

Judges deplore submission of irrelevant, voluminous documents will delay outcome of Panamagate probe

The volume of the documents the court was receiving had ensured that the proceedings could not even be concluded in six months, the court regretted.

The chief justice also made it clear that since a hearing under Article 184(3) had serious consequences in the absence of any appeal against the decision of the apex court, the court would be cautious and would avoid technicalities so that nobody could later claim that they were not provided an opportunity to present their viewpoint.

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told the bench that the whole country was looking to the court, adding that time was of the essence in determining the matter at hand.

“Today, a document has come from Qatar. Tomorrow, they may submit another document from Mahatma Gandhi, attested by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he alleged.

“Once a liar is always a liar,” Mr Rashid said, questioning the motive behind submitting the document from the Qatari ex-prime minister, which claimed that the London properties were held by the Al Thani family before they were transferred to Hussain Nawaz in 2006.

Mr Rashid also asked the court not to refer the matter to a judicial commission. He was of the opinion that the bench should hear and conclude the matter on its own.

When he concluded his remarks, the chief justice said Sheikh Rashid would have had more success if he had opted for a career in law.

But earlier, Asad Manzoor Butt, appearing on behalf of Jamaat-i-Islami emir Siraj-ul-Haq, asked the court to appoint a judicial commission so that everybody could have an opportunity to present their case.

Tariq Asad, another petitioner, said that the court should at least proceed against those who were either in government, opposition or engaged in government service, and whose names had surfaced in the Panama Papers leaks. He also requested the court to initiate a probe against former president Pervez Musharraf.

At this, the chief justice wondered aloud whether he was representing the respondents or the petitioner, and reiterated that it was not the job of the Supreme Court to hold trials or probe corruption going back to 1947.

The chief justice observed that the court had taken up Imran Khan’s petition as a test case because it it was focused on highlighting the issue of the four London flats.

The court then postponed further proceedings until Thursday and directed all parties to exchange documents before the end of the day on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn November 16th, 2016


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Comments (60) Closed

Ashfaq11 Nov 16, 2016 10:51am

I think it's obvious now that PTI have no evidence pertinent to transfer of money from Pakistan to buy those apartments. They are now providing news clippings as evidence that the court is likely to reject. So if there was no proof why did IK agree to SC commission and why does he behave that the PM is guilty prior to proven guilty. I think if there was any allegation against him he would expect evidence and prosection by court before anyone treating him guilty. So please apply same standard to others....

wAJIH UDDIN qIDWAI Nov 16, 2016 11:25am

IK lawyer's team disappointed. I guess they should have kept it straight and simple with some solid evidences, if they really want to conclude this case rapidly. They should avoid treating court same as TV Talk shows

The end is near Nov 16, 2016 11:46am

Nothing will happen. This is Pakistan.

Ali Rizvi Nov 16, 2016 11:47am

IK provided safe passage to NS knowing he had no evidence to present in the court. Now NS will walk scratch free from the court and legalize his corruption.

sam Nov 16, 2016 11:51am

Everyone knows that NS did corruption but it shall not be proved. These people will win again and do corruption because no one care about Pakistan.

Wasi Qureshi Nov 16, 2016 11:57am

I don't think in this case PTI need to submit any other documents. Panama papers are itself suggested the whole story. Now the burden of proof should be on Sharif to provide the money trails thru which the flats were bought.

Bahmed Nov 16, 2016 11:58am

@sam If there is no proof then who does everyone know? and if there is proof then give it to the petitioners so they can present it in court.

Rohail Nov 16, 2016 12:00pm

PTI needs to hire quality corporate lawyers.

taimoor saleem Nov 16, 2016 12:04pm

I am afraid why does court need proves from PTI, Its a national issue now, Nawaz sharif is the one who is at boiling so he should be one providing the evidence of purchasing his london flat properties, Its his integrity, morality is in cause not imran khan. Panama was the papers who forced Iceland PM to quit and its again the paper who asked camroon to give answer, What it would look like if camroon would say please bring some evidence, And if this evidences are false, then Mr PM NS should fill a case against panama papers for defaming his name. It should be deal in simple lay man taste.

Khan Nov 16, 2016 12:07pm

@Rohail totally agree that is the weak link

Oad Nov 16, 2016 12:10pm

This is not PTI's work to prove , this is responsibility of FIA and other agencies.

sheryaar Nov 16, 2016 12:11pm

i am voter on PTI but i think they should give less evidence but concrete one. plus even now if they dont have anything substantial the letter provided by the PM is enough for him to get disqualified. lets see if SC this time give justice or again play with emotion of people like the past ..

MRhashmi Nov 16, 2016 12:17pm

PTI Imran Khan just t wasting time , it could help to success instead must focus to resolve problem day to day people of Pakistan, now PTI Imran Khan has to go door to door around the country just to moblise the people of Pakistan to face next election 2018, start from rightway , very hard to understand why following sitting Duck Shaikh Rasheed who caring himself only..

Wasi Qureshi Nov 16, 2016 12:24pm

@MRhashmi Did you mean corruption and money laundering is not the day to day problem Pakistan? Really ?

Bannuci Nov 16, 2016 12:26pm

Just to give PTI a hint they should present something like, the raiwand empire is 40k kanals, there are atleast 250 people(few years back report) working as a servants.if each is get paid 20,000 rs a month , its makes 6 corer/year .rest of the expenses one can do a rough calculation.then they should ask Dear Court from where are they earning and if they are earning this much how much tax they are the way leave the rest just this almost 6 corer they are giving to people at raiwand servants as a salaray has it been shown in file returns as expenses?? :)

Parvez Nov 16, 2016 12:35pm

PTI's lawyer team needs to be of yesterday.

Hina!! Nov 16, 2016 12:35pm

from where the hell on this earth PTI will bring proof!! this is about something that needs institutions to get involved including state bank!! its just a simple question, from where they got money for those flats? who should clarify this? Sharifs have already brought themselves into an untenable position specially after this love letter!!

Dr.Sadaf Nov 16, 2016 12:43pm

Ik has a pathetic legal team, that is for sure, but the court should order the investigating agencies to get the money trail, why are they not giving the orders.

responsible Nov 16, 2016 12:49pm

I think good effort against status-quo, now IK should focus on party to make it strong and work on local elections levels.

DAWN READER Nov 16, 2016 01:08pm

@The end is near May be if needed the SC can order some kind of investigation.

aqdas Nov 16, 2016 01:39pm

There are examples in the worlsis where news clippings are part of the evidence,what about watergate,Axact to count a few.

Pakistani Nov 16, 2016 01:54pm

I wonder why SC used to take Suo Moto actions on newspaper clippings if they are that irrelevant? They are not proof but they are a clear lead.

Secondly, It's not just an issue of PTI. If Nawaz Sharif did corruption (in public position), it is the issue of every Pakistani including judges.

haider shaikh Nov 16, 2016 02:13pm

Strong Kaptaan. But weak team of lawyers.

Ismail Nov 16, 2016 02:17pm

NNorhing will come out from this case. Wastage of time and energy . Why focus on flats in London? PM has property worth billions in Pakistan. How father of PM established steel mill outside Pakistan? When PM was outstayed and went KSA, how did he establish steel mill in KSA?

ABood Nov 16, 2016 02:20pm

Obviously this guy wants to delay it.because aleem khan and jehangeer tareen will also be caught.and elections coming close he would not want that.

Yaser Arafat Nov 16, 2016 02:24pm

PTI playing role of opposition with one man an for one man. They are least bothered about current issues of internal as well external fronts. PTI hyped and pursue this matter not just in favor or Pakistan's people but seeking any point to make as base to run next election campaign.

This was unexpected for PTI that supreme court will take such action, otherwise there were looking intervention from 3rd umpire...unfortunately or fortunately people did not response on their call for lock down and eventually they surrendered.

This is too sad that PTI do not have any credit to pass or even initiate to bring any bill on national assembly floor for benefit of Pakistan or against this corrupt system. as per current results of local as well bi-election, nothing look their future than PPP or PMLQ.

Philosopher (from Japan) Nov 16, 2016 03:15pm

The evidences provided by PTI I guess PTI is trying to save NS from this scam. With news clips as proofs he will definitely be spared by the court and will enjoy the powers n tenure.

jawad Nov 16, 2016 03:23pm

IK is on no one's side. He is against the whole nation. At a time when all politic parties should be working together for betterment of Pakistan he is bent on dividing the nation. IK should focus on his province and develop it he is doing a good job and concentrate on that rather than doing dharanas. KPK is doing better then Punjab.

booooooooo Nov 16, 2016 03:52pm

@jawad dont know any of them.

Umer Nov 16, 2016 03:57pm

If IK loose this time, it will be purely because of the incompetence of his solicitors team.

News Nov 16, 2016 04:07pm

i am a PTI supporter, and i am disappointed with the lawyers team, what's happening...... this is not professional..

booooooooo Nov 16, 2016 04:08pm

@sheryaar and are you going to submit all you know?? i didn't think so.

booooooooo Nov 16, 2016 04:08pm

@Dr.Sadaf they weren't asked.

booooooooo Nov 16, 2016 04:10pm

you all have your evidence but failed to submit it even anonymously, so don't blame one person. by doing so it sort of makes the one person want to lose, so you're all stuck with the same corruption/crimes you failed to report.

ARK Nov 16, 2016 04:24pm

A political party should not be expected to supply solid evidences .... it is the duty FIA to do a detailed investigation and follow the money trail and then provide the conclusions/evidence to the court ... this is how it works in all sane parts of the world.

Iftikhar Husain Nov 16, 2016 05:17pm

It is clear that the money went out of the country for the first investment by PM family that money rightfully earned and sent the PM has to prove it.

tHE RIGHT LEFT Nov 16, 2016 05:54pm

Its beginning to sound so much like a muk muka between PTI and PMLN. Either PTI has no real evidence or wants to drag the proceedings ... Could it be that PMLN may have threatened to bring to light wrongdoings of PTI's own top leadership if they bring any real evidence against Nawaz & co.

Shafaat Nov 16, 2016 07:50pm

IK .....change your legal team in SC..they have not made any case against will loose it...hurry up to change..bring Choudhry aitizaz and babar Awan in this case on urgent basis.

zahiduddin Nov 16, 2016 08:27pm

Bad leadership.

kalia Nov 16, 2016 10:06pm

IK need good solicitors who can fight case , who ever is not their paper , tv clip , or video he should be called in the SC and then question should be asked in cross examination , When he said it, why he said it , what evidence he has when he said it including NS confession in parliament should be trial in cross examination , i think i can fight this case better..

kamran Nov 16, 2016 10:26pm

Forget about IK evidence. Look at what N.Sharif is presenting to the court. If he or his son owns the property, simply bring the paper work when it was transferred to them. Sorry! but the letter from Qatar won't work. Bring property registration documents, Property tax documents and Money trail. In national assembly speech N.S said he purchased it. In a TV interview, his son said he purchased it. Who ever is the owner please bring the paper work to the court and don't make a joke of yourself in front of Pakistan masses.

Adi Nov 16, 2016 10:45pm

@sam if everyone knows why cant they go and testify in person to the court! Everyone knows only through media, who knows nothing !

ADD Nov 16, 2016 11:09pm

What tangible evidence does IK have against the PM. Just paper cuttings? He might as well get some evidence from the internet as well. It never lies.

ADD Nov 16, 2016 11:13pm

@haider shaikh You are only as strong as your team.

Aks Nov 16, 2016 11:49pm

IK seems to be hand in glove with NS. Every time this man undertakes stupid protests and ill advised and equally ill prapared cases, NS gains in popularity.

flipflop Nov 17, 2016 01:56am

I think its obvious that PTI will lose this case not because of insufficient evidence but because 7 months of denial by the courts to accept the case has given accused enough time to move around evidence. If you look closely everything is indirectly owned by Nawaz Sharif. On papers his grandson or some other family member owns the property or asset but in reality the deal was initiated by Nawaz through the intention of getting a profit or on increasing the net worth by bypassing the Pakistans tax system. Lets of Pakistan must come to a realisation that our judicial system is corrupt to the core and we the people of Pakistan are the reason behind it. We as a nation are corrupt. These people will never be caught and of by any chance they do get caught they will simply self exile them to some other country.

flipflop Nov 17, 2016 02:00am

@wAJIH UDDIN qIDWAI well it took nearly 7 months for the court to accept the case which I think is enough time to mover around the evidence. We all know that Nawaz is corrupt as well as Zardari but nothing will happen. They love to be in power and you will see that Pakistan will drown because of them. Our Judicial system is broken so no matter what proof you provide Nawaz or others will always win. If Nawaz wins which is highly possible then future implications will be devastating. That 1% paying taxes will stop paying taxes by finding ways around. More people are fleeing from the country especially middle class people so that 1% is about to decline even further. My confidence in the justice system has further swayed away.

flipflop Nov 17, 2016 02:02am

@sam and that "No one" is us the Nation, the people of Pakistan. We can keep blaming our politicians but we never blame ourselves. We keep voting for them time and time again just because they promised us metros, bridges, and more rice seeds.

Khan Nov 17, 2016 02:43am

@Wasi Qureshi Wrong. The burden is on the party which intends to prove guilt. The burden is not on NS to prove his innocence.

Shafiq Shah Nov 17, 2016 06:04am

I am an overseas Pakistani. If I have vote I will vote for PTI. But I do not understand what legal team of PTI is doing, 650 irrelevant pages presenting to the court. All they have to do is who paid the property taxes before 2006, of these four apartments. That shows the ownership of the property.

Shafiq Shah Nov 17, 2016 06:05am

I am very proud of Sheikh Rashid. Argument should be brief and to the point, that's what he did.

taha Nov 17, 2016 06:57am

to fight for justice is our duty.To fight with ignorance of law is a bigger sin.

Shaukat Nov 17, 2016 07:27am

@taimoor saleem,NS family already have submitted all the legal evidence and proves of ownership of these properties and how they acquired them, its IK's turn to humiliate themselves when they can not provide solid proves , wow, solid proves from news paper's clipping! what a joke and wasting of Nation's money and supreme court's time only because IK hates NS.

Ashraf Nov 17, 2016 08:20am

All the so-called evidence were just newspaper clippings? What's wrong with the PTI leadership?

Sarwar, USA. Nov 17, 2016 08:24am

PTI was blamed for not submitting enough proofs. Since they submitted enough It up to the court to admit what is relevant. Moreover I don't think in this case PTI need to submit any other documents. Panama papers are itself suggested the whole story. Now the burden of proof should be on Sharifs to provide the money trails through which the flats were bought.

Sarwar, USA. Nov 17, 2016 08:26am

@ARK ... exactly but in Pakistan if you blame you have to bring proofs. I think PTI team is not doing its job...

KB Nov 17, 2016 08:31am

Looks IK is ditched again. This time by his lawyers.

aslam shaikh1 Nov 17, 2016 08:34am

By mistake they sent the boxes of recycling newspapers.

A.GAwan Nov 17, 2016 06:37pm

@imkhan should get transfer deed copy or information of 4 flats of London Mayfair street from London council from 1996 to to Date with information of previous owners. Because it is legal right of Imran Khan. In one Stock all matter will be solved. Supreme Court then will demons money trale from Nawaz Sharif.

Farmanullah Khan Nov 18, 2016 11:56am

Imran niazi and his team must apologise for all his wrong doings.PIT is now no more than piti I.