A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday received a report submitted by the joint investigation team (JIT) probing allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family, and ordered the opening of a criminal case against Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Chairman Zafar Hijazi who was earlier suspected of record tampering by the Federal Investigation Agency.

Read more: FIA report finds SECP chairman guilty of tampering with Sharif business records

The bench, comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Ejaz Afzal, after examination of the report, ordered the registration of a case against Hijazi in order to find out who was behind the tampering of Sharif family business records.

Justices Saeed, Afzal and Ahsan are the three judges who exercised restraint in their judgements on the Panamagate case, whereas Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed issued the dissenting notes in the judgement.

Read more: Meet the SC judges behind the Panama Papers ruling

The court asked for transcripts of all speeches made in the last 60 days by PML-N’s Talal Chaudhry, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, and the PM’s Special Assistant on Political Affairs Asif Kirmani, presumably to examine them for contemptuous content.

The bench ordered that the name and institution of the individual responsible for leaking a photo of Hussain Nawaz sitting before the JIT should be made public.

The matter does not fall within the SC’s jurisdiction, so the government may form a commission to probe the matter, the court said.

The bench also took a strict stand against a local newspaper for publishing material it said was contrary to actual JIT proceedings over the past 60 days.
The SC ordered the filing of a contempt of court notice against the printer, publisher and reporter of a story entitled “Panama JIT ‘doesn’t find PM guilty,’ but his sons”, which appeared in The News on Monday, July 10.

Earlier, members of the JIT had arrived at the apex court amid tight security provided by Islamabad Capital Territory Police. Large cardboard boxes labelled ‘Evidence’ were carted into the SC as the JIT made their way into court.

The Panamagate case has been adjourned for a week, with the next hearing scheduled for July 17.

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