5-judge bench constituted to hear Sharifs' review appeals

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday constituted a five-member bench to hear a set of review appeals filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children - Hussain, Hassan, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Safdar.
The chief justice formed the bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Ejaz Afzal Khan, Sheikh Azmat Saeed, and Ijaz ul Ahsen, to hear the appeals on the request of the Sharif family's counsel.
Earlier, a three-member bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, adjourned the matter after a brief hearing when the appellants' counsel raised objections with regard to the bench hearing the appeals and requested it to constitute a larger bench.
The bench, thus, referred the matter to the chief justice to form the same bench that had delivered a damning verdict, removing former prime minister from office.
The larger bench will take up the review pleas tomorrow.
On July 28, the apex court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif for not being honest for concealing his salary from a Dubai-based company and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file references against him and his children on the basis of the report of a joint investigation team that probed their off-shore properties.
The petition submitted by Advocate Salman Akram Raja through Advocate-on-Record (AOR) Syed Riffat Hussain Shah stated that the review petition had been filed against the three-member bench's judgment of July 28, as a matter of abundant caution to obviate the possibility of a technical objection in case the five-member bench, which had passed as per this court's record, the final order of the court dated July 28 in the titled case, upholds the petitioner's objections raised in the earlier/already filed review petition No. 308/2017 to the effect that the five-member bench did not have the jurisdiction to announce the judgment.
The petition stated that the legal proposition as to whether the five-member bench had the jurisdiction to pass the final order of the court dated July 28 in light of grounds taken in the review petition No. 308/2017, falls for determination and can only be adjudicated by the five-member bench, which actually passed the said order and not by a three-member bench. - NNI