ISLAMABAD: A day after the privilege claimed by the counsel for the prime minister under Article 66 of the constitution, the larger bench hearing Panamagate case made it clear in its observations that there was no absolute privilege for lawmakers to pass any statement on the floor of the House. The observation from two members of the five-judge larger bench came on Tuesday when counsel for the PM Makhdoom Ali Khan narrated Article 248. He contended that the president, governor or the PM shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions. He also cited multiple judgements from jurisdictions of Britain, India and Bangladesh to support his arguments regarding privileges and immunity, and contended that the PM’s statements could not be adjudicate under articles 66 and 248 of the constitution. However, Justice Shiekh Azmat Saeed, a member of the larger bench, observed that in Pakistan, privilege and immunity were not absolute. He remarked that privilege of a parliamentarian to say anything on the floor of the House was not absolute. On citation of Article 248, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who heads the larger bench, told Makhdoom that committing of crime was not performance of duty. “You cannot say there is an island called floor of the House where you enjoy immunity,” he said. “Obedience to law and constitution is inviolable duty of every citizen.” The counsel for the PM reverted to Article 66 and said lawmakers were not liable before any court for their activities in parliament or provincial assemblies. On this, Justice Khosa observed that it was not a regular proceeding but the PM volunteered to make a statement. Makhdoom further contended that there were contradictions in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) petition – in the first prayer they were seeking disqualification of the PM, while in the sixth prayer they were seeking directions for the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to probe and scrutinise the tax returns and asset declarations of the Sharif family. Meanwhile, PM’s daughter Maryam Safdar submitted before the top court that she had never been the dependent of her father since she got married in 1992. Through her counsel Shahid Hamid, Maryam submitted that she was residing in one of the five houses at Raiwind Estate since 1992 with her husband and three children. She further stated that total assets owned by the family were valued at Rs 73.5431 million in June 2010.