Inside Financial Markets

‘Tampering with record’ – SC asks FIA to investigate JIT charge against SECP chief

The Supreme Court on Monday issued directives to Federal Investigation Agency to investigate the charges of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) against Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Zafarul Haq Hijazi for tampering with record.

A three-member special bench of the Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who is overseeing the implementation of the Panama Papers verdict, resumed the hearing of JIT’s plea which claimed that the government machinery is being misused to frustrate investigations.

The JIT had accused the SECP, Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Law, National Accountability Bureau and Federal Board of Revenue of creating impediments in fair trial.

During the course of hearing, the performance of Intelligence Bureau after its confession that it was collecting low-downs of the JIT members, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family’s money trail of Mayfair properties came under question.

The bench observed that judiciary is bound to perform under the law, saying the statements of politicians in media have nothing to do with functions of judiciary. Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that it seems an organised media campaign is being run regarding JIT’s proceedings. The bench expressed its dismay over admission of the IB that it was collecting low-downs of JIT.

The bench observed that the government institutions are supposed to perform duties in accordance with law, saying apparently it seems that the IB is functioning at the whims and fancies of anyone. The bench further asked whether or not the IB has been “privatised”. Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that after IB chief’s confession there was a need to file a criminal case against the chief. Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh asked under which law the IB provided information acquired from National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to Hussain Nawaz.

The judge plainly said that the court will not allow anybody to play with the state institutions. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan issued directives to Attorney General for Pakistan to assist the bench over the alleged harassment of the members of the JIT by the IB, besides explaining whether or not the appointment of incumbent head of the IB Aftab Sultan is in accordance with law.

The AGP informed the bench the matter of show cause notice issued to one of the JIT members Irfan Naeem Mangi has been put on hold, to which a member of the bench Justice Ejazul Ahsan told the AGP: “Don’t harass the JIT.” The court also asked the JIT members to focus on their task and submit reports accordingly. Later, the bench exempted the JIT head and team members from making appearance before the court in the current matter and adjourned the hearing till June 20 (today).

Baqar Hussain

A Wannabe CFO, just had stepped in the corporate sector, willing to explore every aspect here and learn as mush as i can, awareness for those who dont, get the info where ever possible and stay up to date always.

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Inside Financial Markets was a joint publication of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)and Society of Technical Analysts Pakistan (STAP)