— Chief Justice orders fair, swift probe
By Saad Saud
ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that all the accused in the National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) case should be arrested within two weeks and investigations be completed immediately after the arrests.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry expressed doubt over the pace of investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The FIA Director Mozzam Jah told the court that former Sindh Workers Welfare Board director general Zafar Saleem transferred Rs 900 million into an anonymous account in an NICL deal. But Zafar Saleem passed away in an air crash, the FIA director added.
The chief justice said that the FIA director was laying blame on a dead man, adding that the FIA should have arrested the people involved in anonymous accounts transaction earlier.
He remarked that all the accused in the case were seemed vindicated because of the FIA director, adding that how the officials addicted to air conditions would investigate a case.
The chief justice said the court was fed up to the extent that the entire FIA team should be sent to jail. The FIA director submitted that Rs 3 million were recovered from Syed Iqbal’s accounts, but the accused is absconding.
The CJP said that due to the delinquency of the investigative agencies, the criminals walked away scot-free. The FIA director told the court that in another NICL deal, Rs 40 million were transferred into the accounts of Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Makhdoom Jamil Zaman and Rizwana Amin.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its decision on the contempt of court case against Director-General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Malik Muhammad Iqbal, and directed Secretary Interior and Secretary Establishment that all the record about NICL Scam inquiry officer Zafar Qureshi be presented before the court.
Last week, the court had indicted Iqbal for interfering in judicial affairs by writing a letter to the interior ministry which resulted in the transfer of the officer who was investigating the multi-billion-rupee scam in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL).
A three-judge bench of the apex court had framed the contempt charge against the FIA chief under Article 204 of the Constitution and section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 for creating obstacles in judicial administration and interfering in the process of law.
The three member bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and including Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim heard the contempt of court case against DG FIA.
On query by the Court, Secretary Interior Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said he did not order the transfer of Zafar Qureshi but forwarded the letter of DG FIA along with a covering letter to Establishment Division. The Chief Justice observed that there was no mention of transfer of the officer in the letter sent by the DG FIA and that this was got done by some one else. He said the court knows that it was not the work of one person but there were people involved in it who wanted to discredit the institution. He said it appears that there was no law for the powerful but the Apex Court was determined to eradicate corruption.