In a relief to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Lahore High Court has dismissed a petition seeking his disqualification on the charges of corruption amid a row over the Panama Papers leak that names his family as having misappropriated properties in the UK. LHC Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza yesterday dismissed the petition seeking disqualification of Sharif and his younger brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, for their alleged corrupt practices in different projects and those revealed in the Panama Papers.
The judge observed the petition was not maintainable before the court. Petitioner Faisal Naseer alleged corruption is rampant in all government institutions without any accountability. He said incompetent and corrupt people had been recruited in different departments even on the key posts. He said the prime minster and the chief minister of Punjab were responsible for the growth of the menace of corruption.
He further alleged that Sharif and his children corruption had also been named in the Panama Papers. The petitioner pleaded that Sharif and Shahbaz should be declared disqualified to hold any public office. Meanwhile, LHC Justice Ayesha Malik also dismissed another petition seeking disqualification of Shahbaz for alleged misuse of power and violation of his oath and court orders.
Justice Malik dismissed the petition filed by Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry for being not maintainable after hearing preliminary arguments of the petitioner’s counsel. The petitioner’s counsel, former law minister Babar Awan, argued the chief minister misused his authority and allowed shifting his family’s sugar mills in violation of ban.
He said the chief minister preferred his personal interest and failed to keep his oath. He said the high court had set aside the shifting of the sugar mills allowed by the respondent chief minister, which was enough to prove misuse of authority by the respondent. Justice Malik observed that the decision cited by the counsel was related to shifting of sugar and did not carry any declaration with regard to the chief minister.
The judge further observed prima facie, the petition did not contain any evidence that could lead to disqualification of the chief minister. The Supreme Court is hearing the Panamagate case after the Panama Papers released earlier this year showed his family owning offshore companies and assets.