Supreme Court hears Suo Moto Case 18 of 2010

Supreme Court hears Suo Moto Case 18 of 2010

Islamabad: A three member bench headed by the Honourable Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan and comprising other two members namely Honourable Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Honourable Mr. Justice Amir Hani Muslim heard Suo Moto Case No. 18 of 2010 (Action regarding violation of Public procurement Rules, 2004 in procurement loss of billions of rupees to public exchequer caused by National Insurance Company Ltd).

Maulvi Anwar-ul–Haq, AGP, ,Mr Muhammad Manzoor Acting D.G FIA, Mr Muhammad Azam Khan, DIR (Law)FIA and Captain (R) Zafar Ahmed Qureshi Additional D.G, FIA appeared today (14.07.2011) on Court notice and the Court passed following order:

1. “ The learned Attorney General for Pakistan has stated that the Acting D.G, FIA Ch. Manzoor Ahmed, had issued the notification dated 14.7.2011 in pursuance whereof transfer orders of Mr. Javed Hussain Shah, Mr. Muhammad Ahmed, Mr. Khalid Anees and Mr. Muhammad Sarwar, made vide notification No.793/Admn-1-2001 dated 1.7.2011 have been cancelled. A copy of the notification has been placed on record, according to which, order of cancellation of earlier notification was made in compliance with the order of this Court dated 13.7.2011. Upon this, we have pointed out to the learned Attorney General that this Court had passed order on 7.7.2011 for cancellation of the earlier notification referred to hereinabove which fact does not reflect from the notification. On this, the Acting D.G, FIA made appropriate correction and a new notification has been placed on record complying with the directions of this Court dated 7.7.2011, which are reproduced herein below:-

“We, therefore, direct the Director General, FIA, through learned Attorney General, to reverse the transfer orders of the afore-named officers/members of the investigating team of Capt (R) Zafar Ahmad Qureshi immediately and post them at the places where they were earlier performing their duties, pending decision of this matter.”

2. The above order was duly communicated to the incumbent D.G, FIA, Mr Tehseen Anwar Shah, on 8.7.2011 through the learned Attorney General as well as by the office. Surprisingly, he did not comply with the order until 13.7.2011, when the case was taken up, we were informed that on 11.7.2011, the D.G, F.I.A has proceeded to U.K in connection with official commitment. On this, the learned Attorney General was asked to direct the officer, who is holding the charge of the office of D.G, FIA, in his absence to comply with the said order. Accordingly, Ch. Manzoor Ahmed, who has been notified as Acting D.G appeared with the notification by which the members of the investigating team of Mr. Zafar Ahmed Qureshi were transferred and posted back to the places where they were performing their duties earlier on 1.7.2011. The D.G, FIA had a constitutional and legal duty to comply with the orders of this Court as is envisaged under Article 190 of the Constitution and he had no authority to avoid and or defy the orders which were issued as back as on 7.7.2011 and were communicated to him on 8.7.2011. The D.G, FIA, has not only violated the judicial order of this Court but, ex facie, has rendered himself liable for disciplinary proceedings under the E and D Rules. However, before initiating contempt proceedings against him, we refer the matter to the Secretary, Establishment Division, Government of Pakistan, for placing it before the competent authority under the Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1973, and departmental proceedings against him be initiated forthwith, result whereof shall also be communicated to this Court through Registrar. In the meanwhile, the Secretary, Establishment Division, shall keep this Court apprised of the progress in the proposed proceedings taken against him in this behalf from time to time through the learned Attorney General who shall collect relevant information.

3. The officers/members of the investigating team, whose transfer orders have been cancelled were in fact penalized for conducting honest and thorough probe of the N.I.C.L scam where four cases were registered vide F.I.Rs No.24/2010, 29/2010, 46/2010 and 5/2011 are being investigated by them. As per record made available to this Court, they did made remarkable progress in unearthing the crime. Instead of appreciating their sincere efforts, which they have made honestly and with full dedication, they were posted out of the province of Punjab to different places as is evident from the notification dated 7.7.2011 which notification was issued after when this Court had passed the order suspending the notification dated 18.4.2o11 by which Capt. (R) Zafar Ahmed Qureshi was disassociated from the investigation of the case. The order of the transfers was in fact being passed to frustrate the investigation of the cases registered vide above-noted F.I.Rs. Such illegal action committed by the D.G, FIA, has made to suffer who worked honestly and stand by the rule of law. At the same time, the national exchequer has also been burdened for making payment of TA/DA to the transferring officers to join the different places and they came back on their re-transfer. Therefore, notice be issued to the D.G, FIA to appear and explain as to why instead of burdening the national exchequer he should not be burdened to make payment towards TA/DA of these officers from his own pocket. On the receipt of his reply and after hearing him, order in this behalf shall be passed.

4. The learned Attorney General was repeatedly apprised about the observation of this Court in its order dated 7.7.2011 in which this Court has taken notice of the newspaper reports in which Capt. (R) Zafar Ahmed Qureshi has been given 4 options as has appeared in the print media and it further reported that his suspension was the result of political intervention on account of which he was suspended after this Court suspended the notification dated 18.4.2011, besides his investigation team was also transferred from Lahore to different places. Therefore, this matter requires thorough probe through a judicial officer because if the reports appearing in the newspapers which finds support from the prevailing circumstances is established in enquiry that actions of the authorities were the outcome of political intervention and order passed by this Court on 1.7.2011and 7.7.2011 and an attempt to make them ineffective and inoperative, it would have its own repercussions. We have given our mind to the learned Attorney General that we intend to appoint some judicial officer to conduct a thorough probe into the matter and submit report in this behalf.

5. We have made the learned Attorney General to realize about the repercussions because we believe that the institutions should function within their own parameters and if the court has passed the order which required compliance, it should be implemented and if there are some reservations, then remedy is available under the constitution. But instead of availing the remedies attempts are made to defy the order and or to make it ineffective. This act, ex facie, amounts to interference in the independence of the judiciary. The Attorney General states that some time be given to him to seek instructions in this behalf. The same was the position on 13.7.2011 and even today in the morning when the case was taken up, he asked time for the instructions and the case was taken up in the second half but no response was received. We, in the larger interest of the institutions grant another opportunity to the learned Attorney General to seek instructions by tomorrow i.e 15.7.2011. Adjourned to come up on 15.7.2011 at 9:30 am.”

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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