Friday, 31 August 2012 11:03:09
Suddle entrusted to conduct inquiry into Dr Arsalan's case
ISLAMABAD, Aug 30 (APP): The Supreme Court on Thursday transferred
the investigation of Dr Arsalan's case from the National Accountability Bureau to Federal Tax Ombudsman Shoaib Suddle, a senior functionary, having experience of investigations in the police and fiscal hierarchies, to complete the task within one month.
The reserved verdict into the review plea of Dr Arslan Iftikhar was
announced by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, who headed the two-member bench that
conducted hearings of the case.
Citing the reason for handing over investigation to Shoaib Suddle, Justice Khawaja said that the professionalism and thoroughness of the inquiry undertaken by him in suo motu case regarding the ISAF containers scam persuaded them to refer this inquiry to him.
The FTO was also given the authority to probe into the culpability of Malik Riaz Hussain, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, Salman Ali Khan and all those others, who may be found involved in criminal activities in the light of the earlier court order dated 14.6.2012 and the observations made in
He would specify the legal provisions and offenses, if any, which might be attracted in the case based on the fact finding undertaken by the
He would inquire into and ascertain such facts as might be relevant,
connected with or ancillary to the determination of the foregoing matters and to set the machinery of the state in motion so that all those who might have committed illegal acts were pursued and brought to book with the full force and rigour of the law.
The bench also ordered that the entire record available with the NAB, which related to this matter, would be handed over to the commission whereas the Registrar Office would also provide copies of the record of this petition.
The one-man commission is also given the following powers and he may seek such further orders as may be considered necessary:-
"(i) he shall exercise all the powers envisioned in the Supreme Court Rules,
1980 and the powers of Judicial Officers for the purpose of carrying out
the objects mentioned hereinabove;
ii) he shall be free to avail the services of advocates, experts of forensic
science, persons with relevant experience, including fiscal laws etc.
State functionaries when called upon to do so shall provide necessary
assistance to the Commission;
iii) the Commission shall be authorized to collect evidence within and
outside Pakistan according to prevailing laws on the subject;
iv) the Commission is required to complete this task within a period of
thirty days after receipt of the copy of this order.
The bench also tasked the Commission to conduct inquiry into conduct of Faisal Bashir Memon, SP and his subordinate Tahir Malik, DSP, who might have submitted false, dishonest or deliberately misleading statements in court during the proceedings or during inquiries ordered by the court.
The proceedings in the inquiry shall not preclude the departmental
authorities from taking disciplinary proceedings against these two officers in accordance with law as has also been recommended by the interior ministry.
Accepting objections of Dr Arsalan's counsel regarding NAB's investigation into the issue, the bench noted that they had concluded that any inquiry by the NAB in the matter would not be free from perception of partiality or bias or lack of competence.
To meet the ends of justice and to ensure a fair, impartial, honest and competent inquiry, the same should be transferred to some other person or agency to act independently, fairly and justly, the bench noted the reason for transferring of the investigation process.
"We are of the opinion that in order to keep matters clear of any
subjective perceptions, it would be appropriate if the inquiry is entrusted to someone with relevant seniority, experience and standing," it added.