Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Supreme Court bars govt from transfers in high-profile cases


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has barred the government from the transfer of investigation officers in high-profile cases of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), ARY NEWS reported.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued the directives in a suo motu notice which he took yesterday against the perceived interference of the government office-bearers in the criminal justice system of the country.

The CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial took the suo motu notice of the government’s interference in the independence of prosecution following the recommendations of an SC judge.

During the hearing, the court directed the FIA, and NAB to seal records of prosecution and investigations in high-profile cases besides also issuing orders against withdrawing any case from the courts until further orders.

The apex court also issued notice to the secretary interior, director-general FIA, chairman NAB, prosecutors, advocate generals, and head of the prosecution departments. The Supreme Court also sought details of the names included and withdrawn from the no-fly list recently.

During the today’s hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial while leading the proceedings of the suo moto case said that the DG FIA barred an investigation officer from appearing before the court.

“We want to learn regarding the removal of the prosecutor,” he said and added that the previous DG FIA Sanaullah Abbasi, who was removed from his post, was a reputed officer while Dr. Rizwan was also replaced and later died after suffering from a cardiac arrest.

“We have concerns over these matters and wanted to know regarding their backgrounds,” the CJP said and added that reportedly hundreds were benefitted after their names were removed from ECL.

The chief justice said that all of these reports are affecting the rule of law and it is their responsibility as per the Constitution to maintain confidence on institutions and peace in the society.

He added that the court’s orders were not aimed at humiliating or blaming anyone rather, they were directed at rescuing the rule of law and criminal justice system in the country.

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing until Friday (tomorrow).


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