A five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has been constituted by the Supreme Court to resume hearing of the Panama Papers case from January 4.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who took oath as the new chief justice on Saturday, will not be part of the new bench.
The Panamagate case is investigating the prime minister and his close family members over alleged investments in offshore companies.
Proceedings in the case had ended on Dec 9 when the Supreme Court said that arguments from both sides would commence afresh when hearings resume in January.
The court had to adjourn the proceedings to the first week of January because then chief justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was about to reach superannuation on Dec 30.
Before adjourning the hearing, Justice Jamali had said that “these matters shall not be treated as part heard”, meaning that arguments from both sides would commence afresh when the proceeding resumes.
Panama leaks revelations
An investigation published April 3 by an international coalition of more than 100 media outlets ─ based on 11.5 million records and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from the internal database of Panamaian law firm Mossack Fonseca ─ details how politicians, celebrities and other famous people use banks, law firms and offshore shell companies to hide their assets.
According to documents available on the ICIJ website, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children Maryam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.
The data leak revealed the financial wheelings and dealings of over 200 Pakistanis, including the late Benazir Bhutto, Rehman Malik and other prominent politicians and businessmen.
Since the data leak, PM Nawaz has been under immense pressure at the hands of the opposition to ensure a transparent inquiry is held to justify the sources of funding for his children’s offshore companies.