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Panamagate probe: SC forms special bench to monitor JIT proceedings

Panamagate probe: SC forms special bench to monitor JIT proceedings

The apex court on Tuesday announced the formation of a special bench tasked with ensuring the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict on Panamagate and closely monitor the working of the joint investigation team (JIT).

It also appointed a coordinator to manage all communication between the bench and the JIT, looking into the split Panamagate case verdict, DawnNews reported.

The case filed in the apex court to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly misleading the nation on his family's involvement in corrupt practices, as outlined in the Panamagate scandal, ended on April 20 with the court ordering the formation of a JIT to probe how the family's money was transferred to Qatar. The final verdict was split 3-2 in the five-judge bench.

The special bench of the Supreme Court has been constituted to examine the case under Section 184/3 of the Constitution. The bench comprises Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also approved the appointment of Additional Registrar Muhammad Ali as the coordinator between the JIT and the SC bench on the case.

The newly appointed liaison will be assisted by deputy registrar and assistant registrar during the JIT hearings.

The JIT has been tasked to produce a report and apprise the bench with its latest updates every 15 days. The report will be forwarded to the bench via the additional registrar.

The coordinator will also, in turn, forward the directions issued by the bench to the JIT.

In addition to appointing the coordinator, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also approved establishing a cell dedicated for the JIT.

Watan Party Chairman Barrister Zafarullah Khan filed a petition in the Supreme Court to review the split Panamagate case verdict.

Barrister Zafarullah claimed in his petition that the decision for making a JIT was outside the legal bounds, and that the bench should form a commission instead to look into the case moving forward.

He further claimed that the officials sitting in the JIT lacked experience in dealing with civil and financial fraud cases.

The barrister also prayed to the apex court to expunge remarks such as quotes from "The Godfather" from the script of the verdict.

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