SC suspends inquiry against Qureshi, cancels transfers

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on Thursday, suspended the departmental inquiry against Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director General Zafar Ahmad Qureshi and ordered immediate reversal of the transfer of the members of his investigation team.

The court directed the agency’s director general to reverse the transfer orders of the members of investigation team of Qureshi immediately and post them to their earlier places, pending decision of the matter. A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, was hearing a suo motu case of the suspension of Qureshi.

In its order, the bench observed, “Prima facie, we (judges) are of the opinion that transfer of four FIA officials – deputy director Javed Hussain, assistant director Muhammad Ahmed, assistant director Khalid Anees, inspector Muhammad Sarwar – had taken place in order to undermine the authority of the court and to influence the course of investigation.”As per news reports, Qureshi had been suspended following a meeting between Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leaders and the prime minister.

“As political intervention had been started in the court’s functioning, the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) was directed to take instructions from the government by July 13 regarding the said news items,” the bench said.“We have informed him (the AGP) that this is a very grave and serious matter and has its own repercussions and that the court, otherwise, would be appointing some retired judge of the apex court or high court to probe into the matter, record evidence and thereafter would give findings,” the bench said in the order.

Appearing before the bench, AGP Anwarul Haq submitted the record of Qureshi’s suspension and transfer of the four FIA officers. Justice Chaudhry asked the AGP to tell the government that the court would not comprise on its dignity. “Your prestige is linked with the dignity of the black coat and you must have respect for the institutions,” he asked the AGP. Further hearing was adjourned until July 13. – Dailytimes