Monday, August 8, 2022

SECP submits inquiry report against Arsalan Zafar to IHC


ISLAMABAD: The counsel of Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan has submitted an inquiry report to Islamabad High Court (IHC) against Arsalan Zafar, the SECP additional director and the prime suspect in sensitive data leak issue, ARY News reported on Thursday.

The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (CJ IH) Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition of Arsalan Zafar that challenged that constitution of constitution of a committee to investigate allegations of the sensitive data leak.

During the hearing, the SECP lawyer submitted the inquiry report against Zafar.

CJ IHC Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the report contains nothing but the details of content which is already available on portal. Later, the counsel submitted another report regarding secret data leak.

Read: SECP data leak: Arsalan Zafar challenges formation of probe committee

Justice Minallah remarked that there was nothing confidential in the report as well. After being questioned by the judge, the counsel submitted the third inquiry report to the court and said that the confidential matters are compiled in the report.

To this, Justice Minallah said that the third report has only contained the details which highlighted the issue that defamed the institution. He remarked that it shows the weakness of the commission. The judge added it seems that the commission was unaware about the exact information regarding the data leak.

Justice Minallah questioned the SECP’s counsel to highlight the points in the report to spot details of data leaks and the genre of the data. He added that it was impossible to run public and secret portals separately by the commission.

He asked the lawyer to read the report carefully and then give legal advice to the client.

Read: SECP pleads with IHC to dismiss Arsalan Zafar’s petition

“How can be the information on public portal differs from internal portal or whether the information available with the public portal is false?”

The lawyer replied that the public portal provides basic information.

“Why the names of shareholders are not appearing on the public portal,” questioned CJ IHC. To this, the lawyer said that the information of a private company limited is kept secret around the world.

CJ IHC remarked which law restricts the disclosure of a private company and what was not reason behind it. The lawyer replied that the question would be about the law that could publicise the details of a private company.

The judge asked lawyer to apprise the law which blocks passage to disclose details of a private company.

Read: SECP senior officers served notices over data leak issue

The lawyer argued that why the court was taking special interest in the case. To this, the judge remarked that people many people have interests in this case.

Later, the CJ IHC also ordered the SECP counsel to prove the relevance of Article 19-A in the next hearing besides highlighting the difference between public and private portals.

The hearing was adjourned till January 28.

Earlier on September 25, it was learnt that the prime suspect in Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) data leak issue, Arsalan Zafar, had challenged the formation of the investigation committee in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Read: SECP data leaks: 10 officers issued show-cause notice

In his petition, Zafar had stated that he was sent on forced leave on September 9 besides seizure of his laptop. The petitioner claimed that he had submitted a detailed response to the investigation committee on September 14.

On September 23, the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had issued show-cause notices to its senior officers including additional and joint directors in connection with an investigation into data leak.

The show-cause notices had been served to Additional Director Market Surveillance Arsalan Zafar, Joint Director Information Technology (IT) Muhammad Sohail, Deputy Director IT Hammad Ahmed, Assistant Joint Director Companies Registration Sadiq Shah, Assistant Joint Director Companies Registration Adil Ali and Jamal Zaidi.

A total of 10 SECP officers had reportedly been served show-cause notices in order to probe the sensitive data leak.


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