ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court has blocked the government from mobilizing officials investigating high-profile cases until ordered.
Led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and led by Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Justices Munib Akhtar, Justices Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justices Mohammad Ali Mazhar, a hearing was held on Wednesday’s suo motu notice, which is believed to be “Persons of authority” undermine the criminal justice system.
The court noted that the purpose of the proceedings was not to embarrass or blame someone, but to protect the rule of law and the criminal justice system.
The court also issued a notice to the NAB Chairman, the FIA DG and the Minister of Home Affairs for an explanation of the interference in the prosecution.
Chief Justice Bandial raised questions about the transfer of FIA DG Sanaullah Abbasi and FIA Lahore chief Dr Rizwan, who later died.
He said that Abbasi was a reputable officer who performed well in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, so why he was transferred.
The top judge expressed concerns on all these issues and said prima facie it amounted to interference in the criminal justice system.
The court wants Articles 10 and 25 of the constitution to be followed in letter and spirit, he said.
The chief justice noted that FIA prosecutors had issued a statement about interference and the FIA did not deny it.
CJP Bandial said that newspaper clippings indicated that thousands of names were removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) and at least 3,000 people benefitted after the ECL rules were modified.
He said the court expects the federal government’s cooperation in explaining the steps.