ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice took serious exception on Tuesday to the growing tendency of people making accusation in a bid to attract the attention of the court and hit headlines and ordered the FIA to take action against a PML-N parliamentarian if he failed to provide evidence of his allegations of corruption against the prime minister's son, Abdul Qadir Gilani.“Courts are being involved for making headlines in the newspapers by people filing appeals but no one coming forward to provide evidence,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry observed while heading a six-judge bench hearing a case of mismanagement in Haj affairs.
The chief justice appreciated Mr Qadir Gilani's appearance before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for recording his statement against the allegations but deplored that Syed Imran Ali Shah, an MNA from Sahiwal, did not provide any evidence.
MNA Shah had accused Mr Qadir Gilani of importing a bullet-proof vehicle from UAE out of the misappropriated/defrauded amount from the Haj scam through his friend Zain Iftikhar Sukhera.
On the basis of a bald and baseless allegation, the court observed, such statement should not have been made by the member and asked the FIA to proceed against him if it considered that false information had been furnished. “Every body is equal before the law,” the chief justice observed.
The FIA was taken to task by the court for its failure to move bail cancellation applications after the Lahore High Court granted bail in favour of former Religious Affairs Minister Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi.
During the proceedings Additional Director General FIA Syed Jawed Ali Bukhari complained that despite sending four letters to the State Bank requesting furnishing of details of bank accounts of the accused namely the former minister, Abdullah Khokhar and Aftab-ul-Islam Raja no cooperation had been extended so far.
The court ordered the State Bank governor to cooperate with the FIA and issue instructions to the concerned authorities to do the needful.
The court described as not satisfactory the progress report submitted by Mr Bukhari, saying no effective progress had been shown so far. “Plainly, it is reflected from the progress reports that deliberate delay is being made in reaching to the truth and in taking the pieces of incriminating material to link the accused persons,” the court said in its order, adding these reports led to nowhere because they lacked necessary particulars and details.
It seems quite evident that investigation is not being conducted independently and in a transparent manner, the court deplored, saying it could hardly be believed that in presence of the present Director General FIA Waseem Ahmad an effective and impartial investigation in the case could be conducted.
Senior counsel representing the federal government Abdul Hafeez Pirzada informed the court that a report by a committee constituted by the establishment division was sent to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who approved every single recommendation the committee had proposed on removing officers re-employed on contract.
When the court reminded the counsel that Defence Secretary Athar Ali was still officiating on contract, Mr Pirzada replied that he had submitted a confidential report under the instructions from the prime minister with the registrar of the Supreme Court.
Another committee, the counsel said, had been constituted to look into the cases of persons who were appointed on contract basis. The court observed that appointments on contract basis should not be allowed to continue in terms of section 14 of the Civil Servants Act 1973 and the relevant policy unless the specified conditions were satisfied.
“Apparently, it seems the government is not interested in obeying the order of the court because so far the contract appointments of only nine officers have been terminated whereas there is a list of more than 100 persons serving on contract in different capacities, including secretaries awaiting orders,” the court said.