By Nasir Mahmood
KARACHI: Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization has asked Attorney-General, Ashtar Ausaf Ali to provide documents which were provided to the JIT established under Supreme Court in Panama Papers case. In his yesterday’s letter to Attorney-General, Mandviwalla referred to AG office letter dated 11-10-2017, with respect to the captioned subject and said it is necessary, to clarify some points raised by him in the said letter. He said the Senate Standing Committee is cognizant about the Article 73 of the Constitution deals with the Money Bill and has only given recommendatory powers to the Senate committees on the fiscal and tax matters to be adopted in the Money Bill. Committee has no objections/ differences with the FBR, but Committee is asking for sharing the documents which were provided to the JIT under the Rules 166(4) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 [The Rules] and under Article 66(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Chairman added that it is pertinent to state that copy was denied on ground that Senate Standing Committee on Finance is not listed in the Rule 158 [The Rules]. It can’t take away the legitimacy and the fact that the Senate Standing Committees including the Finance Committee were constituted by the Chairman Senate under the delegated powers by the Senate House has the power under the Article 66(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan for the summoning and production of the documents. “In your letter word ‘Duly’ has been interpreted as ‘done in due course and according to law.’ The phrase ‘in accordance with law’ means that anything in accordance with any constitutional provision, statue, rule or any case law for that matter. And we are here basing our authority on a constitutional provision 66(3) and the Rule 166(3) in the Senate Rules 2012. It has been held in many case laws that all agencies and Courts, within their sphere must ensure the implementation of the Rule of Law by following the dictum and provisions laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan [2012 PLD 903 SC][2012 CLC 764 LHC],” the Senator said. “We are looking forward to resolve this matter with your good office as soon as possible, failing which we shall be obliged to refer the matter to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for the clarification,” Saleem Mandviwalla concluded.