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SC gives NAB two months to investigate fake bank accounts case

ISLAMABAD: In its detailed verdict in the case of money laundering through fake bank accounts, the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) two-month period for investigation, ARY News reported.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the SC wrote the 25-page verdict.

“The NAB investigation has pointed towards heinous crimes. The anti-graft body should take action on recommendations of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT),” the judgement read.

The apex court had taken a suomoto notice of the fake bank accounts under Article 184 (3).

The court also directed to strike off names of Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List (ECL) for the time being.

“The Sindh CM’s name in the ECL will create hurdle in his work as it will restrict his movement”, the order read.

“NAB should continue investigation against Murad and Bilawal though, and if it has evidence against them, it should contact the federation,” it added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had earlier informed the National Assembly that the Chief Justice of Pakistan did not order to remove names of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Murad Ali Shah from the ECL, it only directed to review the decision of placing their names on the list.

Qureshi had said the decision of striking off their names from the list would be made after receiving a detailed written judgment of the Supreme Court order.

The order further directed the handover of complete JIT report and evidence to the NAB, adding that the probe team should continue investigating in incomplete matters. “The NAB should cross-check the JIT evidence about the relevant people.”

The ruling said that NAB references should be filed in the Islamabad High Court, while the (new) Chief Justice should constitute a top court’s monitoring bench to review the NAB report. It read that the accountability bureau will submit its 15-day investigation report to the SC.

The judgement read that according to the JIT report, [fake bank accounts] were a matter of kickbacks, misuse of authority, money laundering and embezzlement.

It has directed the JIT to cooperate with the NAB in the probe.

The Supreme Court decision read that the chairman NAB should assign the responsibility of preparing and filing references to an authenticated director general. A team comprising authenticated officers should be formed for the prosecution of references, it added.

CJP did not order removal of Bilawal, Murad’s name from ECL: FM

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