Mandviwala wants independent body to probe Panama Papers
KARACHI: Speaking in the Geo programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, legal expert Mahmood Mandviwala talked about the judicial commission formation on Panama Papers. He said it is not a judicial commission but a normal inquiry commission.
The normal inquiry commission in Pakistan, he said, will have all powers of judges. The civil court is involved in this process. It can listen to anybody, can summon anyone and can force one to furnish documents. It can call anyone for giving evidence. All of these are requirements for investigations.
The commission within Pakistan can ask a businessman about his off-shore properties and if the businessman does not provide them, how his assets would be ascertained. In such a situation the businessman will have to submit an affidavit about his assets outside the country. If the businessman tries to hide the assets then there is a judicial process which would be followed.
You cannot ask another country to provide documents and other information about the assets and business of a person. It is not illegal to open off-shore accounts, but how the money was sent and whether tax was paid on it.
Whether official channel was used for taking out the money would not be easy to know. Mandviwala said normally the commissions, which investigate do not leak out such information. It is, therefore, better to appoint a body, which is independent, free and effective.