ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Bar Council expressed reservations over Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali’s reply to the federal government’s letter and the Terms of Reference for judicial commission over Panama leaks.

The PBC resolution passed on Saturday said: “If the letter is followed in letter and spirit it will take considerable long time.” “There is no need of any legislation in view of Article 184(3) of the Constitution,” it added.

The resolution passed by the PBC executive committee meeting under the chairmanship of Abdul Fayaz after consulting Barrister Farogh Naseem, vice-chairman and other members of PBC on Panama papers leaks.

It said the CJP letter has again thrown back the matter into the hands of the federal government, which has no intention to divulge the wealth reconciliation or trail of the funds of the Prime Minister and his family.

The PBC reiterates that the Supreme Court may take cognizance under Article 184(3) of Constitution and start the proceedings from the Prime Minister and his children from 1985 till date.

The reason for 1985 is because the NAB Ordinance, 1999, has prescribed 1.1.1985 to be the cut-off date for corruption by the holders of public office.

The resolution said if the Supreme Court intends to take cognizance of the matter through a forum, which is not toothless then there will not be need of fresh legislation because such cognizance can conveniently be undertaken under Article 184(3). It said that under suo moto notice the court would not only be determining the correct facts, but at the same time it will be empowered to pass corrective orders.

The PBC said the apex court has partly endorsed their stand that the federal government’s letter and the notification of Terms of Reference of 22nd April is broad and no inquiry can be undertaken unless and until names of persons, who are liable to be inquired against, are stated with precision.

It said in a resolution passed on 30-04-16 they had proposed that a distinction is to be made between parliamentarians and businessmen who are not and have not been parliamentarians or holders of public office.

The PBC reiterates that if in the history of Pakistan there is one case which deserves an action under article 184(3), it is the case of Panama Leaks with regard to the Prime Minister and his children including Parliamentarian who come within the ambit of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. It said in case no action is taken by the Supreme Court, then PBC shall advise the nation of its future strategy which includes and is not limited to filing of an appropriate petition before the Supreme Court.

The PBC also expressed concern over the accountability of superior judiciary judges. It said as the accountability is not result oriented due to which the trust and confidence of the public at large, especially the legal fraternity is being hampered, thus lowering the dignity and prestige of the superior judiciary in the eyes of public at large.

The Pakistan Bar Council resolved that the judges, whether confirmed or otherwise, should follow the principles as enunciated in Al-Jehad Trust case PLD 1996 SC 324.

The statement said that the PBC should be appropriately consulted in all matters of appointments, confirmation or dismissal of judges of the superior courts so also of the sub-ordinate Courts and this consultation is required to be purposive.