In a big blow to Nawaz Sharif, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the review petitions filed by the ousted prime minister and his family, challenging his disqualification in the Panama Papers scandal.
A five-member bench of the court headed by justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa heard the review petitions. It was the same panel which had disqualified Sharif.
“For reasons to be recorded later, all these review petitions are dismissed,” Khosa said.
With the rejection of the review petitions, Sharif has exhausted all legal options to challenge his disqualification.
Sharif, his children and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had filed separate petitions challenging the apex court’s July 28 verdict in which the 67-year-old leader was disqualified from continuing in office.
The Sharif family and Dar will now face corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in an accountability court.
The Supreme Court had ordered that corruption cases be filed against Sharif and his children Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Nawaz — son-in-law Mohammad Safdar and Dar.
During the hearing, Sharif’s lawyer argued how could the former PM be disqualified for not declaring a salary which he never received. But the court rejected the plea.
The Panama Papers case in Pakistan is based on leaks that the Sharif children owned offshore companies to manage their properties in London, which were bought with unaccounted money.
Sharif has been disqualified from running in an election for his entire life. After the dismissal of the review petition, the only way he can make a political comeback if his party wins next year’s elections with a two-thirds majority in Parliament. It can then amend the Constitution to change the life-time disqualification to a limited period of time.
(With inputs from PTI)