SC rejects all review petitions filed by PPP leadership in fake accounts case

SC rejects all review petitions filed by PPP leadership in fake accounts case

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed all the review petitions filed by the Pakistan Peoples Party in the fake accounts case.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Faisal Arbab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the review petition filed by Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, challenging the apex court’s directives in the suo motu case pertaining to money laundering of billions through fictitious bank accounts.

After hearing the case for about four hours, the top court rejected the petitions.

Zardari’s counsel, Advocate Latif Khosa, filed a separate plea on the former president’s behalf for constitution of a larger bench.

The former president had requested the top court to bar FIA from running a ‘parallel inquiry’ into the money laundering case as the National Accountability Bureau was already involved in the investigations.

“The court’s orders were being violated as the FIA was still continuing its investigation in the fake accounts case,” the petition stated.

The petition filed by the former president said that the FIA recently summoned his legal adviser, Abu Bakr Zardari, and questioned him about some particular bank accounts.

It stated that the parallel investigations by NAB and FIA’s in fake accounts case were illegal and in violation of the SC’s orders.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman in his application requested to the SC to order the JIT and FIA to stop their investigative pursuits and remain limited to their court-mandated role of assisting the NAB investigation.

The former president’s petition was filed a day after a banking court in Karachi extended his pre-arrest bail in the fake accounts case till March 5.

On January 28, Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur had filed a petition in the SC to review top court’s January 7 verdict in the ongoing money laundering case.

The petition filed by the PPP co-chairman and Talpur through their lawyer Latif Khosa states that the FIA failed to submit a final challan in the banking court and the agency was unable to find any evidence against them despite cooperation from all institutions.

The petition said that the apex court decision will affect the “fair trial” and the top court’s January 7 should be reviewed.

The JIT formed by the apex court had submitted a report alleging that a close nexus had been found between a troika of Zardari Group, Bahria Town and Omni Group in the ‘fake accounts' scam.

The report revealed that at least 29 bank accounts had been identified as fake which had been used for money laundering of Rs42 billion.

The top court, in an order passed in the case on Jan 7, had referred the JIT report to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate a fresh inquiry into the case.

The apex court ordered NAB to investigate the case in light of JIT report, and to complete its investigation within two months.

"NAB can probe Bilawal and CM Shah independently. If after the investigation a reference can be formed, then it should be filed,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed.

The bench further asked the accountability bureau to summon whoever it wishes, and instructed the JIT to continue its own probe in the meantime.