Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's children — Hussain, Hassan and Maryam — and his son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar have filed review petitions challenging the Supreme Court's verdict of July 28 in the Panama Papers case.
The court was requested on Friday to set aside its directive to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file corruption references against Sharif's children and son-in-law relating to the Avenfield properties in London and different offshore companies.
In the meantime, the Supreme Court should stay the filing of the reference against the applicants until the review petitions are heard and decided, the petitions state.
Hussain, Hassan, Maryam and Captain Safdar have each filed two petitions — one challenging the judgement of the five-member SC bench, and the other against the verdict reserved by the three-member Panama Papers implementation bench.
The petitions have questioned the probe carried out by the six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on court orders, saying it was "incomplete" and contrary to the requisites of justice.
The investigation did not merit filing of references against the petitioners, read the applications, adding that their rights will be comprised by SC's findings that were based on the JIT report.
In light of the JIT findings, the court has itself become a complainant. It also did not consider the objections filed by the petitioners against the JIT report, the applications say.
The petitions question how the SC could order NAB to file a reference against Captain Safdar when "there is no accusation or proof against [him] for the purchase of London flats".
'Five-member bench did not have authority to rule'
The Sharif children and Capain Safdar have argued through their appeals that the July 28 decision should have been given by a three-member bench since Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed's jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgement on April 20.
The five-member bench did not have the authority to rule on the JIT report, the petitions state.
They have also contended that three judges of the bench, who supervised implementation of the April 20 verdict and oversaw the investigations, should not have ruled on the JIT report.
Additionally, the petitions say that the appointment by SC of Justice Ijazul Ahsan as the ‘monitoring judge’ for the proceedings of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and accountability courts is against the fundamental rights of the applicants, and violates Articles 4, 10-A, 25 and 175 of the Constitution.
The accountability courts will not be able to proceed freely after the monitoring judge's appointment, the petitions claim.
There is no provision in the law and Constitution that allows supervision of the proceedings of accountability courts, they state, adding that the court can only rule that the accountability courts work according to the law.
This is the third batch of petitions seeking a review of the verdict in the Panama Papers case. On August 15, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif filed a similar petition questioning his unceremonious disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
Later on August 21, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar questioned SC's authority to make a judgement about his assets being beyond his means in a petition filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.