SC cancels transfer of Zafar Qureshi

sc-cancels-transfer-of-zafar-qureshiISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on Friday, suspended the notification of transfer of ZafarQureshi, an investigator of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) who was probing themulti-billion National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scandal.The court, while ordering Qureshi to resume the probe immediately, also directed the agency’s director general to provide full protection to him to completely resume investigation of the NICL cases inLahore. A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim, was hearing a contempt of court issue related to the suo motu case of the NICL scandal.On June 16, the court had issued notices to three top bureaucrats – Interior Ministry Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Establishment Division Secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry and the prime minister’s Principal Secretary Khushnood Lashari – in connection with the transfer of FIA Additional Director General Qureshi.

In its Friday’s order, the court said, “No interference of any nature whatsoever shall becaused either by the FIA DG or by any other authority …Qureshi would be free to take all steps and adopt all measures in discharge of his duties necessary for conducting transparent investigation. He shall, however, be submitting fortnightly progress reports to Justice Amir Hani Muslim in his chamber for (the court’s) perusal.” The court also ordered that the official would be free to take help from the FIA chief, who is bound to provide such assistance. It observed that Qureshi had carried out the investigation properly and showed remarkable progress by recovering Rs 1.74 billion in the NICL Lahore cases. At the outset of the proceedings, counsel for the three federal secretaries, Babar Awan, told the court that Prime Minister Gilani had, while using his authority under the law of trichotomy of power, rejected the summary for the reappointment of Qureshi in the FIA.

He maintained that the government respected the judiciary and had no interest in transfer or investigation of the case. Upon this, Justice Chaudhry said the court was showing restraint despite  repeated violation of its directives. He held that the official record in itself was a proof that the government had turned a deaf ear to almost all decisions made by the apex court.Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Maulvi Anwarul Haq admitted before the three judges’ bench that Qureshi was an honest official.He also expressed reservations over his transfer without any cogent reasons. Further hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period.* Court orders FIA DG to provide full protection to Zafar Qureshi to completely resume investigation of NICL case* Says FIA DG bound to assist Qureshi in investigation of caseBy Hasnaat Malik ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on Friday, suspended the notification of transfer of Zafar Qureshi, an investigator of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) who was probing the multi-billion National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scandal.The court, while ordering Qureshi to resume the probe immediately, also directed the agency’s director general to provide full protection to him to completely resume investigation of the NICL cases in Lahore.

A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim, was hearing a contempt of court issue related to the suo motu case of the NICL scandal.On June 16, the court had issued notices to three top bureaucrats – Interior Ministry Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Establishment Division Secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry and the prime minister’s Principal Secretary Khushnood Lashari – in connection with the transfer of FIA Additional Director General Qureshi.In its Friday’s order, the court said, “No interference of any nature whatsoever shall becaused either by the FIA DG or by any other authority …Qureshi would be free to take all steps and adopt all measures in discharge of his duties necessary for conducting transparent investigation.

He shall, however, be submitting fortnightly progress reports to  Justice Amir Hani Muslim in his chamber for (the court’s) perusal.” The court also ordered that the official would be free to take help from the FIA chief, who is bound to provide such assistance. It observed that Qureshi had carried out the investigation properly and showed remarkable progress by recovering Rs 1.74 billion in the NICL Lahore cases. At the outset of the proceedings, counsel for the three federal secretaries, Babar Awan, told the court that Prime Minister Gilani had, while using his authority under the law of trichotomy of power, rejected the summary for the reappointment of Qureshi in the FIA. He maintained that the government respected the judiciary and had no interest in transfer or investigation of the case.

Upon this, Justice Chaudhry said the court was showing restraint despite repeated violation of its directives. He held that the official record in itself was a proof that the government had turned a deaf ear to almost all decisions made by the apex court.Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Maulvi Anwarul Haq admitted before the three judges’ bench that Qureshi was an honest official. He also expressed reservations over his transfer without any cogent reasons. Further hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period. – Dailytimes