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Supreme court bars govt from transferring officers investigating high-profile cases

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ISLAMABAD:– Supreme Court of Pakistan has stopped government from transferring officers investigating high-profile cases till further orders.

Larger bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar conducted hearing on the suo motu notice taken Wednesday on the perceived apprehension of “persons in authority” undermining the criminal justice system.

The court remarked that the proceedings were not aimed at embarrassing or accusing someone and instead they were meant to protect the rule of law and criminal justice system.

The court also issued notices to NAB chairman, FIA DG, and interior secretary, demanding an explanation about interference in 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 expected the federal government to be cooperative in explaining these steps.


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