- SC directs AG to assist court in alleged harassment of investigators
- Justice Ahsan directs AG to inform “your people to remain in their limits”
- Judges order JIT to work in designated timeframe; stop looking here and there
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate an investigation into the tampering of the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)’s records, as alleged by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), and submit a report in this regard.
The three-member bench, chaired by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, also took up the matter of the alleged harassment of the JIT members and directed the Attorney General to assist the bench in connection with the allegations against the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
The special bench of the Supreme Court was holding proceedings on Monday over the government’s response to the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) charges that its probe is being impeded by certain official quarters.
During a debate on the replies filed by the Attorney General in response to the application filed by the JIT, Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked under which law the Intelligence Bureau was collecting personal details of the JIT members. He also asked what law permits the IB to threaten others.
In his remarks, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that the IB chief had confessed to spying on the JIT and a criminal case should be filed against him. “Has the IB been privatised? How did Hussain Nawaz come into the possession of details acquired by the IB from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA)?” he asked.
“Why the IB has been interfering in each and every matter?” he asked. “For God’s sake, don’t use the IB in this case,” he said, adding that the IB’s reply to the accusations against it was classical denial. “We will not let anyone to play with state institutions,” he said. Justice Ahsan said the bench had been monitoring the situation closely.
He also said it seems that an organised media campaign was being run regarding the JIT’s proceedings. “No politician or the media can regulate the framework of the judiciary,” he added. “Tell your people to remain in their limits,” Justice Ahsan directed the Attorney General.
During the hearing, the bench directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to suspend its show-cause notice to Irfan Mangi, the NAB official who is part of the six-member JIT. The Attorney General also informed the bench that the matter of the show-cause notice issued to JIT member had been put on hold.
The judges also directed the JIT to work according to the objective given to it by the Supreme Court in the designated timeframe and stop looking here and there. As the bench began hearing the case, the JIT members were not present in the court. The bench then asked the AG if proceedings should be postponed till 1pm, to which the AG replied in the affirmative.
On Thursday, proceedings could not be held as the JIT members could not show up in the court owing to the presence of the prime minister on the same day. The case was then adjourned till Monday. At the hearing on Wednesday, the court had reserved its decision on prime minister’s son Hussain Nawaz’s petition challenging the recording of the JIT proceedings and had also directed the Attorney General to submit his response to the JIT’s report on impediments faced by it.
On Friday, the AG submitted the government’s response to the JIT’s charges in the Supreme Court. In it, all the government agencies, departments and ministry, including the Prime Minister’s House, have rejected charges of pressuring witnesses and delaying the high-profile probe.