Supreme Court bars govt from transfers in high-profile cases

Supreme Court bars govt from transfers in high-profile cases
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, while hearing the suo motu case on the apprehensions that criminal justice might be undermined by people in positions of authority, barred the government from making transferring and new appointments in high-profile cases.

The apex court also barred FIA from withdrawing cases and ordered to seal all the record of the high-profile cases. The court demanded an explanation of past transfer/posting and changes in the NAB and FIA.

The directives comes as a five members bench headed by Chief Justice Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, took up the suo motu case.

The 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.

Suo Motu Notice

A day earlier, the Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial CJP had taken suo motu notice on the recommendations of a SC judge on perceived interference in the independence of the prosecution branch in the performance of its power and duties for investigation and prosecution of pending criminal matters involving persons in authority in government.

The chief justice took notice of the perceived interference on the recommendations of a judge belonging to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the statement said.

The court, expressing worries, said that such perceived interferences may influence the prosecution of cases, tampering, disappearing of evidence in courts or in possession of prosecuting agencies, and transfer and postings of officers on key posts.

“Such actions, along with media reports to modify accountability laws, are likely to undermine the functioning of the criminal justice system in the country and that tantamounts to violation of fundamental rights affecting the society as a whole and eroding the confidence of the people in the rule of law and constitutionalism in the country,” the statement said.

Taking notice of the matter, the chief justice has fixed the matter for tomorrow at 1pm before a five-member larger bench to be headed by himself. The SC did not disclose the names of the members.

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