Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday filed three separate appeals in the Supreme Court to review its verdict in the Panama Papers case that resulted in his disqualification. A five-member Supreme Court bench last month disqualified Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the prime minister to quit.
Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Harris filed the three review appeals, in reply to the petitions filed by Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and Siraj ul Haq, in the Lahore registry of the apex court, giving 19 reasons on why he could not be disqualified. The decision to file the appeal against the verdict was taken before 67-year-old Sharif's road journey from Islamabad to Lahore but the legal team took the time to prepare the case. In the 34-page application, Sharif requested the court toreview its judgment. He also asked for an injunction to suspend the original verdict till the review petitions are decided. "As far as disqualification of Petitioner (Sharif) by way of declaration in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article62 (1)(f), for not disclosure of his un-withdrawn income from Capital FZE in his nomination papers for 2013 General Elections is concerned, it is submitted that this declaration also suffers from an error apparent on the face of the record," according to the petitioner.
The petitioner said that he did not conceal the documents in his nomination papers for the 2013 polls the reason for which the court termed him not honest and trustworthy. "It is also submitted that under the Income TaxOrdinance, 2001, 'salary' is to be declared as income onlyafter it is received," the petition read. The petitioner mentioned in the application that underArticle 188 of the Constitution it was against the law todisqualify him without a trial. The petitioner also contended that being the top court, the judgment by the Supreme Court deprived him of the right of appeal which was right of every citizen. Harris also submitted relevant documents concerning the iqama a United Arab Emirates work visa that led the judges to declare Sharif "unfit to hold office", Dawn reported. Sharif has argued that the July 28 decision should have been given by a three-member bench since Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed's jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgment on April 20, the paper said. "By signing the the final order of the court" on July 28, Justice Ahmed and Justice Khosa "have actually passed two judgments in the same case, which is unprecedented in judicial history," reads the appeal petition, according to the paper.
Sharif also chaired a meeting of party leaders at his Raiwind estate in Lahore to prepare a strategy for his campaign to contact the masses over his disqualification. The meeting was attended by Hamza Shahbaz, ForeignMinister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, among others.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told the media afterthe meeting that he still considers "Sharif his primeminister." Sadiq said that Sharif will fight for his rights but hewill not create any tension between the national institutions. Sharif's plan is to go to the public and garner supportfor his plan to bring changes in the country for "sanctity ofthe vote", the speaker added.
The ousted prime minister has repeatedly said that he will strive hard to replace Pakistan's old and "flawed" system with a new law which will put an end to the unceremonious ouster of the prime ministers. He also seeks accountability from military dictators andjudges who he said have been sending prime ministers packinghome in the last 70 years.