ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court in a split verdict neither disqualified nor gave clean chit to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in most talked about Panama Papers case.

The five-member bench on Thursday, in a 3-2 judgement on the case, ordered the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to continue probing the allegations of financial irregularities and money laundering, while noting that at present, there is “insufficient evidence to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.”

The JIT has been given two months to complete the probe into the premier and his sons Hussain and Hasan, all of whom have also been directed to appear before the JIT. The investigators will also have to present bi-weekly reports to a special bench of the Supreme Court.

The JIT will be constituted within seven days and would include representatives from the ISI, MI, FIA, SECP, State Bank and NAB.

Justice Asif Khosa and Justice Gulzar concluded that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should be disqualified. However, the bench remarked that prime minister had not been disqualified.

The judgement authored by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, which was read out by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

The detailed judgment of the Supreme Court began with a popular quote “Behind every great fortune there is a crime” from novel ‘The Godfather’. The novel was written by Mario Puzo in 1969.

The detailed SC judgement said: "At the commencement of regular hearing of these petitions it had been decided by this Court with concurrence of the learned counsel for all the parties that it might not be possible for this Court to take stock of the entire gamut of the business activities and personal lives of respondent No. 1 [PM Nawaz Sharif] and his family within the limited scope of these petitions and, therefore, these petitions would be decided by focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on the properties relevant to respondent No. 1 and his children [Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz] which were revealed through the Panama Papers."

Justice Khosa asserted that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been unsuccessful in playing their role effectively.
The names of members of the JIT must be announced within seven days, and a probe report must be released within 60 days. The JIT must report its progress to the court on a weekly basis.

A special bench will examine the case under Section 184/3 of the Constitution.