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Panamagate hearing: Maryam Nawaz submits reply in court

Updated January 17, 2017

The Prime Minister's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif submitted her reply to the court through her lawyer on Tuesday as the Panamagate case hearing continued.

Maryam Nawaz in her reply maintained that she was not her father's dependent after her marriage in 1992 to Captain Safdar, and that she lived with her husband after her wedding.

She also submitted her tax details for the past five years. In 2012, she had filed Rs2,314,917 as income tax, Rs6,517,504 in 2013, Rs8,872,742 in 2014, Rs9,340,243 in 2015 and Rs12,128,778 in 2016.

Maryam Nawaz's reply stated that five homes comprise the Raiwind Estate which she said belongs to her paternal grandmother. Around 45.5 acres of 48 acres are under her grandmother's supervision, the reply said.

All the houses in the Raiwind Estate belong to my paternal grandmother, she said.

The costs on Shamim Agricultural Farm are jointly paid, the reply said, of which Maryam Nawaz paid Rs6,000,000 in 2014 and 2015.

Makhdoom Ali Khan continues his arguments

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan continued his arguments in court.

He maintained that Article 248 provides the prime minister office's immunity but does not provide blanket cover to the PM as an individual.

Makhdoom Ali Khan made it clear that he was just using Article 248 as a reference and not to plead for immunity for the premier.

The PM's counsel explained that the president, prime minister and governors of Pakistan have constitutional immunity except while discussing judges' conduct within the Parliament.

He added that if judges' conduct is discussed in the assembly, then immunity would not be extended to members of the Parliament as Article 68 and 204 prevent members from speaking on judges' conduct.

He also explained that if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was to speak somewhere other than the Parliament then he would ask for immunity under Article 248.

Makhdoom Ali Khan mentioned during his arguments that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also asked for immunity in the Chaudhary Zahur Ilahi case.

On this Justice Khosa remarked that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had not made a speech in the NA in the Zahur Ilahi case, which is why giving the example of that case does not apply here.

The PM's counsel further argued that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's speech on the National Assembly's floor can not be used as evidence.

On this point, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that there are instances of the court examining Parliamentary proceedings in the past.

Makhdoom Ali Khan replied saying that there are also instances where the court did not accept speeches as part of the evidence in the past.

During Monday's hearing, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel told the Supreme Court that his client’s speech on the floor of the National Assembly was protected by the Constitution.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif maintains that he never misstated, deceived or misrepresented in his May 16, 2016, overview [of his] family business on the floor of the National Assembly,” senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan argued before a five-judge Supreme Court bench that is hearing the Panamagate case.

Whether the apex court could look at all the speeches made in parliament had to be examined in view of the provisions of Article 66, which protected freedom of speech in the house, the counsel emphasised.

In case this privilege was violated, then every member of parliament would hesitate before saying anything in the house, the counsel feared, adding that it would then have a chilling effect, freezing free speech and obstructing parliamentary business.

Article 66 of the Constitution deals with the privileges of members and provides complete freedom of speech in parliament and no member can be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the house.