Sharif gave no proof he didn’t take salary from son’s firm: Pak Supreme Court
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Sharif gave no proof he didn’t take salary from son’s firm: Pak Supreme Court

The bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court hearing Nawaz Sharif’s review petition said he gave no documentary proof that he had not drawn a salary from his son’s Dubai-based firm.

world Updated: Sep 14, 2017 20:57 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan Supreme Court,Panama Papers case,Nawaz Sharif
File photo of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif at a rally in his home city of Lahore on August 12, 2017. (AFP)

Pakistan’s Supreme Court said on Thursday that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif had not submitted any documentary evidence to substantiate his “oral” claim of not drawing any salary from his son’s UAE-based company Capital FZE.

The top court disqualified Sharif in July for failing to declare unclaimed wages earned as an executive of his son’s company in the assets statement he filed along with his nomination papers for the 2013 general election.

“When it is mentioned in the agreement that Nawaz Sharif will be entitled to a salary, then how can we determine through an oral submission that he had no intention to withdraw it,” Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan asked Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Sharif, during the hearing of two review petitions filed by the Sharif family.

“There should be a document in black and white under Article 103 of Qanoon-i-Shahadat 1984 that he had no intention to withdraw the salary.”

Referring to a document attached in Volume IX of the report submitted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed graft allegations levelled against the Sharif family, Justice Ijazul Ahsan said: “An account was opened by the company to disburse his remuneration and in August 2013 the salary was transferred (into the account).”

Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, the top court only decides cases on the basis of admitted facts and it would not go beyond the admitted facts.

In his arguments, Haris contended that Sharif did not open the account to receive a salary. “The Supreme Court cannot disqualify a member of National Assembly under Article 62 (1) (f) on the basis of mere omission,” he said, adding it was the first case wherein the apex court had disqualified any parliamentarian.

When Haris objected to the apex court’s decision to refer graft charges against the Sharif family to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for filling cases against the family, Justice Khan remarked that the court never concluded that the JIT’s report was conclusive and that the Sharifs should be convicted on the basis of that report.

“We don’t accept that the JIT report is final. The trial court shall be free to draw its own inference on the basis of evidences examined by it,” he said, reiterating that the Supreme Court had exercised restraint and tried not to write anything that could affect the case.

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 19:17 IST