Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Friday declined the federal government’s plea to form a judicial commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks.
Announcing the decision, CJP Jamali said in order for a commission to be formed, a legislation will first have to be passed by the parliament.
No judicial inquiry into Panama Papers leak till CJP’s return in May
He further added that a judicial commission cannot be formed until the issue of terms of references (ToRs) is resolved.
“Formation of Commission of Inquiry under the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 1956 (Act VI of 1956), looking to its limited scope, will result in the constitution of a toothless Commission, which will serve no useful purpose, except giving bad name to it,” CJP Jamali wrote in the letter.
The government in April wrote a letter to the top court to constitute a commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks.
But the nation had to wait for a month for the court’s response as Supreme Court’s (SC) senior judge Justice Mian Saqib Nisar – who took oath as the acting chief justice – said the decision on the federal government’s request will be taken by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali after his return from Turkey.
Panama Leaks probe: Write letter to top judge, opposition asks government
After two days of brainstorming session, the opposition parties finally evolved with consensus on Tuesday the ToRs to probe into the foreign wealth of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family and others in the backdrop of the Panama Papers leaks.
“The process of accountability must start to probe into the [Panama] leaks, starting with the prime minister and his family,” PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan said while talking to the media in Islamabad.
“For this inquiry, a commission led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan may submit its report in three months,” he added.
Separately, last month, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) also shared a draft of ToRs for the proposed probe with the government.