The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) is barring authorities from making new appointments and transferring officials involved in “high-profile” and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases as well as those cases which are being heard by special courts, reports Dawn.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) observed that special courts in Karachi and Lahore lack judges while three accountability courts in Islamabad are also empty.
The court issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general, the National Accountability Bureau (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.
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 also observed that there should be “no interference in the prosecution process or the prosecution wing”.
The CJP also noticed that FIA’s former director Mohammad Rizwan, who was probing money laundering charges against Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Hamza Shahbaz, was also transferred and later died of a heart attack.
“We are concerned over these developments,” the CJP said. Justice Bandial, indirectly pointing out at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also stated that according to news reports, “thousands” of people had benefitted after their names were removed from the no-fly list.
At one point, CJP Bandial remarked that the court was only concerned with ensuring justice and adjourned the hearing till May 27.