ISLAMABAD: Rescheduling of a hearing before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) Monday points towards the much-awaited judgment in the Panama Papers case to be announced anytime next Monday.
The five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court hearing the case of Panama Papers had concluded hearing on February 23, and the final judgment was reserved. Headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the larger bench comprises Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The head of the larger bench and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan are also the senior most members of the Supreme Judicial Council — the constitutional authority that decides the merits of a reference for removal of a judge of the superior courts in Pakistan.
Sources at the principal seat of the Supreme Court told Geo News the other day that the hearing of reference against Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqqui of Islamabad High Court by the Supreme Judicial Council was scheduled for Monday but it was deferred to April 3.
The reason, according to these sources: Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and ustice Ejaz Afzal Khan had other engagements. The fact that it was an engagement likely to last only until next Monday is seen by sources as pointing towards the likelihood of the larger bench aiming for announcement of judgment by the end of the week or next Monday.
There is no official word yet on when to expect the judgment. The Supreme Court has institutional measures in place to curb informal flow of sensitive information such as the likely contours of a reserved judgment or the likely date of its announcement.