fbpx mmnews

New appointments in high-profile criminal cases barred by SC

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court has barred authorities from making new appointments and transferring officials involved in “high-profile” and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases.

The orders came as a five-judge larger bench took up the suo motu case on apprehensions that criminal justice might be undermined by people in positions of authority. 

The court also issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director-general, the NAB chairman and the interior secretary. The court asked the parties concerned to give an explanation as to why there was “interference” in criminal cases, and stopped the NAB and FIA from withdrawing cases till further orders. Notices were also issued to all the provincial prosecutor generals and advocate generals.

In addition, the FIA and NAB were asked to provide an explanation for the transfer/posting of officials in the prosecution and investigation wing. The court also asked to be provided with a record of the past six months regarding the transfer/posting of officials.

The court also asked to be informed about the steps being taken to protect the record of criminal cases and directed for the record of high-profile cases to be checked and sealed. When Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf protested against this, the CJP said that the record of ongoing cases would not be sealed, only that of the prosecution.

During the hearing, the CJP observed that there should be “no interference in the prosecution process or the prosecution wing”. The CJP also said that FIA’s former director Mohammad Rizwan, who was probing the money laundering charges against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz, was also transferred and later died of a heart attack.

“We are concerned over these developments,” the CJP said. Justice Bandial also stated that according to news reports, “thousands” of people had benefitted after their names were removed from the no-fly list.

“We have been seeing such news reports for the past one month. This has an effect on the rule of law,” the CJP said, adding that it was the court’s responsibility to maintain peace and trust in society under the Constitution.

The CJP also stated that the suo motu was not meant to embarrass or hold anyone responsible. “It is meant to protect the criminal justice system and the rule of law,” he observed.



Download MM News mobile application and keep yourself updated.
Comments: 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *