SC bars new appointments, transfers in high-profile cases

May 19, 2022: Supreme Court barred authorities from making new appointments and transferring officials involved in “high-profile” and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases as well as those being heard by special courts.

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.

Notices were also issued to all the provincial prosecutor generals and the FIA's legal director.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial 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.

The court wants the implementation of Article 10-A (right to a fair trial) and Article 4 (due process), he said, adding that notices were being issued to the parties concerned. He also expressed the hope that the federal government would cooperate in providing an explanation.

Press Release

Posted on: 2022-05-19T15:07:53+05:00

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