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April 21, 2017

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Nawaz is no more honest, Ameen: Justice Gulzar

Nawaz is no more honest, Ameen: Justice Gulzar

ISLAMABAD: Justice Gulzar Ahmad, a future chief justice of Pakistan, in his dissenting note has declared Nawaz Sharif has not been Honest and Ameen in terms of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution rendering him disqualified from holding the office of a Member of the National Assembly and ceasing to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

During the course of arguments, Justice Gulzar says that Nawaz Sharif adopted to remain evasive and this attitude of the Respondent-1 before the highest court of the country did not appear to be justified or bona fide rather its purpose appears to throw the court in altogether a dark alley where it is left groping without realising that this very act of his will cast a substantial shadow upon him, more so when the court is considering the very question of his being Honest and Ameen in holding office of the Member of National Assembly and the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Justice Gulzar came up with his dissenting note with edifice of arguments based on fundamental rights and Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution saying: “The people of Pakistan have a fundamental right under the Constitution to know about the standing of their chosen representative and the Prime Minister vis-à-vis his connection with the four London Flats which has so much been highlighted in the print and electronic media not only in Pakistan but all over the world. The prime minister of Iceland was named in the Panama Papers so also the Spanish industry minister and prime minister of Ukraine as they all have resigned from their offices owing to the leaks. The British prime minister so also the president of Russian Federation, who were named in Panama Papers, have stated their positions and got themselves cleared. Against many other functionaries of the world, matters on the basis of Panama Papers are stated to be pending. Such major scandalous news needed a careful and very thoughtful consideration and to me, Nawaz Sharif ought to have given all details regarding the ownership of four London Flats, more over when the same being in his own personal knowledge as he has claimed to have purchased the four London Flats.”

Mr Justice says: “I, however, note with dismay that Nawaz Sharif did not make a clean breast and provided nothing to the court where it could have fairly concluded that yes, Nawaz Sharif had nothing to do with these four London Flats.”

According to the dissenting note, during the course of arguments, it was contended by Shahid Hamid, learned Senior ASC so also by Salman Akram Raja, learned ASC that both Nescoll and Nielsen have issued one Bearer Certificate each of $1 each and custodian of these Bearer Share Certificate was the owner of the two companies and owner of the properties comprising four London Flats. In this respect the Nescoll Limited is issued Bearer Certificate No 1, number of shares 1 per value of $1 dated 29.04.1993, a photocopy of which has been filed at page 69 of CMA No7531 of 2016 filed by Muhammad Akram Sheikh, learned Senior ASC for respondents No 6 to 8. At page 65 of this very Civil Miscellaneous Applications, there is Bearer Certificate No 1, number of shares 1 par value of $1 dated 22.11.1994 issued in respect of Nielsen Enterprises Limited. It was contended by the learned ASC for the respondents that these were the only Bearer Share Certificates issued by the two companies and their bearer was the owner of the two companies so also the owner of four London Flats. In this very CMA it was claimed that both these Bearer Share Certificates were cancelled and registered shares were issued i.e. two shares of Nescoll Limited Share Certificate No 2, number of share 1 of $1 dated 04.07.2006 issued to Minerva Nominees Limited and Share Certificate Number 3, number of share 1 of $1 dated 04.07.2006 to Minerva Services Limited. Yet again two shares of Nescoll Limited of $1 each are issued to Trustees Services Corporation on 09.06.2014. As regards Nielsen Enterprises Limited Share Certificate No2, number of share 1 of $1 was issued to Minerva Nominees Limited on 04.07.2006 and Certificate No.3, number of share 1 of $1 was issued to Minerva Services Limited on 04.07.2006. Two shares of Nielsen Enterprises Limited of $1 each are issued to Trustee Services Corporation on 09.01.2014.

Justice Gluzar mentions that it is worth to point out here that there existed one Bearer Share Certificate each of the two companies, however, in 2006, each of the company is shown to have two share certificates each registered in the name of companies, noted above. “This anomaly of increase in the number of shares of the two companies is not explained,” he argues. Further, Mr Justice finds that the Bearer Share Certificates of the two companies separately mentioned authorised capital of each of the company to be $50,000 divided into $50,000 shares of par value $1 each. He also pinpointed that no record is made available on the basis of which it can be ascertained as to what number of shares in each of the company were issued either bearer or registered.”

The Bearer Share Certificate of Nescoll Limited is dated 29.04.1993 while that of Nielsen Enterprises Limited is dated 22.01.1994 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family does not claim that these Bearer Share Certificates were in their custody from their respective dates. Prince Al-Thani of Qatar, in his two statements, has not said that the Bearer Share Certificates of the two companies were in the custody of Al-Thani family or that of himself. So from 1993/94 to 2006 nobody has come before us claiming custody of two Bearer Share Certificates. What does this mean? It cannot, however, be said that the two Bearer Share Certificates of the two companies were not in the custody of someone. Who that someone could be?

“Overall circumstance leads only to Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family, who are in possession and occupation of the four London Flats from the dates of Bearer Share Certificates and as per their own admission, are paying rents and all charges of the four London Flats including that of maintenance.”

“Being in possession and occupation of the said four London Flats and by paying their dues and maintaining them like an owner does, it heavily rested upon Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to explain in a very clear and unambiguous terms with supporting material about his and his family connection with the four London Flats, more over when he himself from his own mouth stated that he has nothing to hide and that there are all records available with him.” “This was an obligation cast upon him and duty towards the people of Pakistan, who had Fundamental Right to know about the standing of their chosen representative and Prime Minister of Pakistan which is also a question of great public importance,” Justice Gulzar maintained.

“He, when called upon by the highest Court of the country to explain, what Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chose was to remain silent and gave bare statement that he is not owner of the four London Flats and of the two offshore companies.”

“This evasive attitude of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, more over before the highest Court of the country, to me, did not appear to be justified or bona fide rather its purpose appears to throw the court in altogether a dark alley where it is left groping without realising that this very act of his will cast a substantial shadow upon him, more over when the court is considering the very question of his being Honest and Ameen in holding office of the Member of National Assembly and the Prime Minister of Pakistan,: Justice Gulzar Ahmad argues.

Mr Justice also says: “This court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution has all the jurisdiction to give any sort of declaration and to pass any consequential order that may be the need of the case which may arise out of any of the given facts and circumstances.”

Justice Gulzar says that this Supreme Court while dealing with Constitution Petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution neither acts as a Civil Court conducting trial of the case nor does it act as a criminal court conducting trial of an accused person in a criminal offence rather the court purely decide such Constitution Petition on matters and facts stated and brought before this Court purely on the basis of constitutional provision that being a case of public importance with reference to enforcement of Fundamental Rights as conferred in Chapter 1 Part II of the Constitution.”

He also argued saying: “To me, there was a duty cast upon Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as holder of Public Office to satisfy this Court and the Nation of the country, which being their Fundamental Right about the true facts regarding four London Flats, which he miserably failed to do so and thus what emerges is that he has not been Honest and Ameen in terms of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.”

Being faced with this scenario, the honorable Justice says, the court cannot be expected to sit as a toothless body and become a mere spectator but it has to rise above screen of technicalities and to give positive verdict for meeting the ends of justice and also to safeguard the Fundamental Rights of the people of Pakistan. 

The dissenting note also mentions that on termination of the ownership of Gulf Steel Mills and sale of its remaining 25 percent shares in 1980 there is lull in between of almost 21 years, when in 2001 Al-Azizia Steel Mills is said to have been established in Jeddah. It was asserted by Hussain Nawaz Sharif in his interview dated 07.03.2016 that he had no treasure when he came to Saudi Arabia and no funds were available, he has drawn on two sources; one that of foreign friends from whom loans were obtained and secondly the loans obtained from Saudi Banks for establishing Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

Now, as the case has been put up before the court, there was a treasure trove of Dirhams 12 million available to Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family but why this treasure trove was not tapped, it could be inferred and inferred well that it did not exist. Be that as it may, admittedly Al-Azizia Steel Mills was sold in the year 2005 for an amount of $17 million. What happened to its own loans and how they were paid, nothing is said about them. It may be relevant here to mention as a fact that Hussain Nawaz Sharif, the first son of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was born on 01.05.1972 and the daughter Maryam Safdar on 28.10.1973 while Hassan Nawaz Sharif the other son was born on 21.01.1976. It is obvious from these dates of their birth that when Gulf Steel Mills was established none of the above named three children was major. At the best Hussain Nawaz Sharif the eldest son must be a suckling child yet again when 75 percent shares of Gulf Steel Mills were sold and thereafter in 1980 the remaining 25 percent shares were sold still all the three above named children were minors and of tender ages. It is admitted that Hussain Nawaz Sharif went to London in 1992 for the purpose of his education while Hassan Nawaz Sharif went to London in 1993/94 for his education purpose. It is admitted that both the sons of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had occupied the London Flats while they were purely students.

 

 

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