Supreme Court (SC) Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed — who is part of a three-judge bench overseeing the implementation of the Panama Papers case verdict — on Friday announced that the joint investigation team (JIT) that will probe Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons' business dealings abroad will be formed today.
In the last hearing, the bench had rejected nominees forwarded by the Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for the JIT.
Commenting on why the candidates were rejected, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said: "It is sad that we have to point out that the names submitted by the SECP and SBP were leaked to media outlets."
"This is why we deemed it necessary to discard the submitted names because they were discussed on social media platforms," Justice Ahsan remarked.
"These institutions are responsible for maintaining secrecy, and they should be held responsible for the leaks."
"How did the names leak before the list even got to us?" Justice Afzal Khan questioned.
"It feels like we are being played with," Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh added.
Justice Khan also expressed his dismay over the way politicians and media outlets have been commenting on the Panama case verdict, stating that regardless of what people say, the court will deliver justice.
"We do not care about what the political leaders or the media says," Justice Afzal remarked. "We will work according to the law."
"After the Panama case verdict, one leader said that all five judges had declared the Prime Minister a liar."
"I did not label anyone a liar," Justice Ejaz Afzal said as he took an apparent jab at opposition party leaders.
Chastising the unnamed leader, Justice Afzal stated, "This leader has lied to the people."
The SC's verdict on the Panama case was split 3-2 among a five-judge bench, with the two dissenting notes in the judgement authored by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed. The two judges had ruled against PM Nawaz Sharif, saying he should be disqualified, whereas the other three were in favour of forming a JIT.
Fresh lists of nominees submitted
The SBP and SECP on Friday submitted fresh lists of nominees for the JIT, as per the court's instructions on Wednesday.
According to reports, the SECP submitted a list of 229 individuals ranked Grade 18 and above, while the SBP's list of similarly qualified individuals had more than 400 names.
Only one name has to be finalised from each list for the JIT.