ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited verdict in the Panamagate case involving Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif’s family is expected by mid-April, sources told The Express Tribune.
A credible source disclosed on Thursday that a few judges still had to pen down their judgement .
However, no official cause-list regarding the pronouncement of verdict has so far been issued by the registrar office of the Supreme Court.
All five Supreme Court judges who adjudicated the Panamagate case have been in the federal capital for the past week and are expected to be sitting at the Islamabad registry next week.
The five-judge larger bench was headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising by Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The past few weeks have made everyone, particularly politicians, very anxious as they are on tenterhooks waiting for the judgment to be announced. Politicians’ future course of action depends on the outcome of the judgment.
Legal experts say that the Sharif family might land in hot water over concealment of facts, adding all eyes will be on how the judgment treats the prime minister’s role in the case.
The judges may raise a question about ‘conflict of interest’ in their judgment. “[The] chances of dissenting opinions on some points in the judgment cannot be ruled out.”
The top court reserved the verdict on February 23 with lead judge Asif Saeed Khosa observing that a short order was not possible due to the sensitivity of the case.
It is learnt that judges on the bench are giving their individual input in writing, keeping in view the importance of the case.”Normally, one judge writes [a] judgment and his fellow judges endorse it. Here, every member of the larger bench is writing his own note,” sources said. To keep things airtight, a member of the bench is reportedly writing the judgment on his personal laptop.
A senior official told The Express Tribune that the government has already devised different strategies to deal with any situation arising out after the judgment. Several senior members of the PML-N are admitting shortcomings in the legal strategy in the Panamagate case.
“I think the Sharif family made a big mistake by delaying the matter and not deciding on the Panama leaks controversy last year. Since April 2016, they had enough time to sort out the issue through various means but they unnecessarily delayed it,” says a member of the PML-N legal team.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf has started showing concern over the delay in the announcement of the judgment. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that although they are aware that it’s not an easy task for the judges to give a verdict in a short period, the party believes that the verdict should be announced without further delay.