Resuming hearing of the Panamagate case on Tuesday, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa told the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to knock on the doors of accountability courts if it wishes to receive a judgement on the basis of National Accountability Bureau investigations.
Justice Khosa, heading a larger bench of the apex court, remarked that the Supreme Court is a constitutional court, not a trial court.
The five-judge bench is hearing petitions seeking the disqualification of the prime minister over investments made by his family members in offshore companies.
Justice Khosa apologised for the remark he made yesterday in which he had said to the PTI's lead counsel Naeem Bokhari, "If we start disqualifying people under this pretext, no one will be spared, not even your clients."
The judge had been referring to the PTI's call for disqualification of holders of public office on the basis of statements which are contradictory in nature under Articles 62 and 63.
PTI's Bokhari presented in court an investigative report from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) ex-deputy director Rehman Malik.
Bokhari alleged that the report proves money laundering allegations against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
In response, the court reminded Bokhari that the Panamagate case is restricted to the London flats.
Justice Aijaz Afzal advised PTI counsel Naeem Bokhari to approach NAB to reopen the Hudaibiyah Paper Mills case. He added that the SC could direct NAB to investigate cases, but it is not in the apex court's jurisdiction to ask the NAB to investigate references.
"The sanctity of the court needs to be maintained at all costs, do not take us out of our parameters," he warned.
"We will only hear the case within the limits of Article 184/3," Justice Aijaz said. Article 184 pertains to the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
During the hearing, the court reminded Bokhari that a ruling cannot be based on newspaper clippings submitted as 'evidence', to which the PTI counsel responded saying that the court has ruled on the basis of newspaper clippings in the past.
Justice Azmat Saeed asked Bokhari if any other court in the world has given a ruling based on the Panama Papers to which the PTI's lead counsel responded saying that the SC should take the first step and set an example.
On Monday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the opposition PTI continued to level allegations against each other over the Panamagate scandal.
Leaders of the two parties held press conferences outside the SC soon after the hearing of the Panama Papers case and claimed that the court’s decision would come in their favour.
Yesterday Justice Khosa identified "honesty" as the real issue in the Panama Papers case, more so than the Sharifs’ purchase of four London flats or the time of their purchase.
"The real issue is that all statements made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — in his address to the nation as well as the parliament — contradict each other," regretted Justice Asif Saeed Khosa during the hearing on Monday, wondering whether the person making the statements was not being honest to the people, the National Assembly and even the apex court.
At the same time Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, pointing towards PTI’s Advocate Naeem Bokhari, had emphasised the need for caution in deciding a disqualification case under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution on the basis of a statement made by the holder of a public office, which later turned out to be false. "If we start disqualifying people under this pretext, no one will be spared, not even your clients," the judge observed.