SC bars transfers, appointments of officials probing high-profile criminal cases

SC bars transfers, appointments of officials probing high-profile criminal cases

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday stopped the government from the transfer and postings of officers in investigation and prosecution branches in high-profile corruption cases.

While hearing a suo motu notice on the apprehensions that criminal justice might be undermined by people in positions of authority, a five-judge larger bench of the apex court comprised Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar, and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, issued notice to the FIA director general, NAB chairman, head of all prosecution branches, and others to submit their statements regarding interference in prosecution and investigation in high profile cases.

The CJP observed the court wanted to “ensure transparency” in the criminal justice system. “The suo motu is not meant to embarrass or hold anyone responsible,” he said and added, “It is meant to protect the criminal justice system and the rule of law.”

The court asked the parties concerned to give an explanation as to why there was interference in criminal cases, and stopped the NAB and FIA from withdrawing cases till further orders.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned till May 27.

On Wednesday, the 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.