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Apex court clears Maryam in Panama Papers case

Updated Apr 21, 2017 10:41am


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ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, may have heaved a sigh of relief after the verdict the apex court issued on Thursday in the Panama Papers case virtually cleared her from the allegations the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and other petitioners had levelled against her.

The Panama Papers leaks alleged that Maryam Nawaz was the beneficial owner of the London properties owned jointly by her brothers as well.

The petitions claimed that since Ms Maryam was a dependant of Mr Sharif, the prime minister had to declare the Mayfair properties/flats in the wealth statement.

The verdict, however, was of the view that Maryam Nawaz “has received cash gifts from her father in substantial amounts on various occasions… receipt of gifts from the father does not necessarily make Respondent No.6 (Maryam Nawaz) his (Nawaz Sharif) dependent in the legal sense of the word”.

See: 13 damning remarks made by Justice Khosa on Panamagate

The bench stated in the verdict that “we also notice that Respondent No.6 owns substantial agricultural property, receives income from the same, holds shares in limited companies worth more than Rs200 million and her husband also receives a fair amount of money by way of pension as a retired military officer. He also receives salary/allowances in his capacity as a member of the National Assembly”.

In response to the arguments that Maryam lives in the Sharif’s family house, the verdict says: “The mere fact that she has chosen to live in a compound owned by her grandmother does not ipso facto make her a dependent of Respondent No.1 (Nawaz Sharif) either.”

The verdict further noted that Maryam “contributes a substantial sum of money towards her share in the joint expenses incurred by her grandmother on behalf of other members of the Sharif family residing in the compound”.

Subsequently, the bench declared, “in this context, whe­ther or not Respondent No.6 is the beneficial owner of the Mayfair Properties becomes irrelevant at this stage, seen from the point of view of seeking disqualification of Respondent No.1 on the ground that he has failed to disclose the assets of a dependent’’.

Even otherwise, the issue of dependency is a question of fact to be determined on a case-to-case basis after recording evidence. ‘‘We are not persuaded to undertake the said exercise, for this purpose, while exercising jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution,’’ it added.

The bench concluded that in these proceedings sufficient material was not available on the record to establish that Maryam Nawaz was a dependant of Nawaz Sharif, in a legal sense. ‘‘We do not feel the necessity to discuss this aspect of the case any further, lest it should prejudice the case of either party before a competent forum if and when this issue is agitated,’’ it said.

In the operating part of the judgement, the bench constituted a joint investigation team comprising representatives of the Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence.

The court asked the proposed JIT to investigate allegations levelled against Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hassan and Hussain by the petitioners.

A senior lawyer and former deputy attorney general Tariq Jahangiri says that Maryam Nawaz has been cleared for the time being, but in case the JIT finds some tangible evidence against her she may face the proceedings as well.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2017


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Comments (55) Closed

Sameer Apr 21, 2017 07:47am

This is hopeless.

Sab se pehle pakistan Apr 21, 2017 07:51am

Mariam Nawaz has created history. Set new standards of corruption for women in Pakistan.

Talha Apr 21, 2017 07:56am

“in this context, whe­ther or not Respondent No.6 is the beneficial owner of the Mayfair Properties becomes irrelevant at this stage" Just focus on the words 'at this stage'. Her ownership and thus her involvement is irrelevant 'AT THIS STAGE' as mentioned in the article by Dawn. She has got a safe passage just for a short while. It is just that for now the focus was on respondent 1 Nawaz Sharif who has been disqualified as PM by two judges and severely criticized by the other three judges for not providing any evidence to prove his innocence and thus have formed the JIT to make the Sharifs tell the real truth.

Ahmed Apr 21, 2017 07:58am

she is not clear untill JIT submits his report to SC. Maryam nawaz is beneficial owner of nelson and nescol and even her lawyer salman akram raja admitted that she beneficial owner of these companies for 6 months.

kashif siddiqui Apr 21, 2017 08:00am

Good luck Pakistan!

Zaq Apr 21, 2017 08:05am

It doesn't say that, she was beneficial owner of disputed flats for a period of time . Now how can you investigate and establish the money trail for those flats without involving s chain of owners

Hashim Apr 21, 2017 08:18am

It looks like she can be the next PM.

Majid Apr 21, 2017 08:22am

So what about those contradictory statements about her properties?

Umar Farooq Apr 21, 2017 08:24am

Welcome , Future PM...........

Muntaz Apr 21, 2017 08:32am

Don't blame the politicians it's the people who vote for them over & over again

Shah2u Apr 21, 2017 08:32am

One "across," more to go!

Naeem Apr 21, 2017 08:41am

You can get by with corruption

Qudsia Apr 21, 2017 08:46am

@Hashim -- for God's sake, don't say that !! She is extremely unsuitable for the job..

Naveed Apr 21, 2017 09:13am

Maryam congratulations! I am so happy for you that after going through such rough patch you came out clean!

Harry Apr 21, 2017 09:16am

Not yet a clean chit! point 68 - The Respondents maintain that the beneficial owner of the said properties is Mrs. Maryam Safdar, who is a dependent of Respondent No.1. As such, he was required to disclose the said assets in his nomination papers. Such failure on his part shows that he is not truthful within the contemplation of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and is therefore, liable to be declared as such, leading to his disqualification from being a member of the National Assembly. : Point 83 - In 2011 she denied that she or her siblings owned any property in London whereas her stance before this Court is that her brother Hussain Nawaz Sharif owns the relevant four properties in Central London since 2006 and she is a trustee of those properties for the said brother since 2006.

Zeeshan Apr 21, 2017 09:27am

I would like her to br the next PM not IK at all. After all women are soft hearted.

Punjabi Apr 21, 2017 09:35am

No doubt Maryam nawaz isn't involved in corruption in 90s and late 80s as she was busy in her youth when mian sb was finance minister of punjab but rational pakistanis knows very well who was main character of great corruption during PTV times. It was father of maryam nawaz.

ENGR PSYCHO Apr 21, 2017 09:38am

Has SC mentioned that when will JIT be established and timeline for the investigation?

Waseem Khan Apr 21, 2017 09:49am

It does not clear her. It implies that the matter of her dependency does not help in deciding the fate of the panama case.

SYED ANJUM ALI Apr 21, 2017 10:21am

The Honorable SC has cleared Maryam Nawaz in some areas, however, it remains still a controversial point what assets and wealth she does have altogether and how many are hidden away abroad ; and if she has ever paid taxes on these? I think we should wait for the JIT investigation findings and submissions before the SC. I also strongly urge the SC to set up and nominate a JIT itself, so that transparency can be ensured .

The end is near Apr 21, 2017 10:27am

The whole royal family will get clean chit. This is Pakistan.

Asad Apr 21, 2017 10:39am

@Hashim LOL. That's the best comment in this thread so far :)

Shakeel Ahmed Apr 21, 2017 10:42am

Now one by one, the allegations and the accused names will be cleared. JIT in essence will expedite the clearance procedure. And Imran Khan will wonder what happened?

Khurram Apr 21, 2017 10:43am

Future PM in the making.

Fareed Hussain Apr 21, 2017 10:44am

The fact that the whole family was disbelieved by the court and accused of inventing story after story in their defence, bordering on fantasy is a major indictment on their character, is not a big deal. It looks as if the only thing that matters to the family is to cling on to power at any cost. Being accused of fabrication is a small price to pay or perhaps no price at all as far they and their supporters are concerned.

analyseS Apr 21, 2017 10:59am

And what about her open admission in front of Pakistan on Media that she does not have any property anywhere and is a dependent of his father? She categorically stated that she is a dependent, open admission does not constitute as a proof?

Tech talk Apr 21, 2017 11:08am

Wonder what is the total networth of Maryam's properties which is disputed and claimed disproportionate to her known income sources and along with gifts recieved by her which carries tax exemption..

Tanweer Apr 21, 2017 11:19am

Justice Served - Finally. IK needs to learn basics in LAW and take SOLID cases to prosecute people; instead of hoping for media hype to work in his favour.

Kamran Apr 21, 2017 11:30am

This is more an issue of forensic accounting the best way is to engage London based big 4 accounting firm to conduct this investigation under security and free from any pressure.

Rational Apr 21, 2017 11:43am

She's not cleared DAWN! She has yet to be investigated by the JIT! Right now things aren't looking good for her! She's the owner of one of the offshore companies as confirmed by a German newspaper!

Asmat jamal Apr 21, 2017 11:50am

The Great game is on. Maryam the political heir has been cleared. Nawaz Sharif case has been put on a long track unending track. Findings and Remarks has no connection with 3 - 2 verdict verdict.

bilal Apr 21, 2017 12:08pm

I am a N-league supporter and this is what I have to say to you all. We should respect the judgement of the court. This mob lynching mind set has to change if there has to be respect of law.

Mjk Apr 21, 2017 12:14pm

The 'first' daughter has her privileges, beyond any criticism. Happy days are here again.

M.Saeed Apr 21, 2017 12:32pm

Who does not gift his daughter, even after her marriage? We must be factual to our customs. Is Dowry not a biggest single gift in our compulsive norms?

azmat shah Apr 21, 2017 12:41pm

@Qudsia She is what we deserve, this is what Hashim is trying to say :)

ANWAR Apr 21, 2017 01:06pm

Setback for PTI and good news for pml-n.

Ch. k. a. nye Apr 21, 2017 02:12pm

@Kamran ... Quite right Kamran. The lackeys here don't have the resources or the will to conduct an investigation of this magnitude. Simply put, they certainly don't know what to look for let alone where to look for it. They have to start at the very beginning and use every possible resource both here and abroad regardless of the time, effort and cost.

The days have gone where information is inaccessible. Those who believe so are living in the dark ages.

BAXAR Apr 21, 2017 02:42pm

@Khurram "Future PM in the making." Future PM of where?

k k tiwari Apr 21, 2017 03:11pm

she is too innocent no doubt.i support her.she has independent separate identity why drag her with father

sYED (Australia) Apr 21, 2017 03:19pm

@Ahmed Not only she was a beneficial owner she as lied in the media that she did not own any property even in Pakistan.

Azmeen Apr 21, 2017 04:09pm

IK should apologize from MN for leveling baseless allegations against her if he has little bit moral courage.

S. A. M. Apr 21, 2017 04:20pm

@Hashim what future prime minister they take pakistan as inheritance from their father

Riz Apr 21, 2017 04:25pm

JIT under Nawaz will give the same results.

Iftikhari Apr 21, 2017 04:29pm

People are culprit not Nawaz family they are innocents.

Sami Ullah Swati Apr 21, 2017 04:47pm

But she confessed not having any property in PK. I don't care if she have or not, but should not issue political statements on behalf of the PM as she is not an elected representative. Such a shameful culture of politics in PK

Fahad Apr 21, 2017 05:04pm

Disaster comes when elites push society toward instability and eventual collapse by hoarding huge quantities of wealth and resources. Pakistan is going to a point of no return the end of our country is now imminent. Its just a question of when.

Mehboob ali lalani Apr 21, 2017 05:21pm

It was thought that the verdict would prove lethal in eradicating corruption from the country. However now realised that was false optimist and ruined expectation.

Nothing will change in level of corruption. However, there will be more polarization and instability in the country. Unfortunately civil society also keeping mum in the matter

azam khan Apr 21, 2017 08:54pm

@Naveed, approach for a ministerial post in her cabinet, you are sure to get it. By the way she does not check qualifications before appointments.

M.Saeed Apr 21, 2017 11:23pm

Good clearance! Must be have been prepared to assume the seat of his father, after he resigns.

Shiraz Apr 21, 2017 11:49pm

@Sab se pehle pakistan - Agreed

sara.afdal Apr 22, 2017 05:13am

Congratulations! You are the best.

Khwarizmi Apr 22, 2017 03:06pm

I feel sick in my stomach every time I see her, her father's, her uncle's, her brother's and her cousin's face. Same goes for Zardari and his son. Altaf Hussain don't deserve any words and the Jamat e Islami has no role to play any more.

Uza Syed Apr 22, 2017 04:40pm

She is not clean and she knows it like we all do. She is not immune from appearing before IJT and stand in the dock explaining being Benefiary Director of the firms even if fir just six months and taking her share of the loot even if named gifts from her father the main accused here.

mOhammAd S. KhaliD Apr 22, 2017 07:35pm

It is highly likely that, by virtue of 2018 election, Pakistan too will have a lady Prime Minister.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Apr 23, 2017 02:29am

She is not innocent, but the mother of all scams.