Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari to submit a copy of a letter written by him to President Asif Ali Zardari in which he had accused the apex court of pressurising NAB officers and of interfering in their duties.

In the letter sent Jan 27, Bokhari accused the court of interfering in NAB investigations, particularly against politicians, and endangering the independence of their work.

A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh Azmat Saeed, heard the case Wednesday concerning implementation of its March 2012 ruling in the rental power projects (RPP) case.

During today’s hearing, the chief justice inquired NAB Prosecutor General Karim Khan Agha on the bureau chairman’s letter to the president expressing reservations over the judiciary.

Chief Justice Iftikhar said the court would examine the contents of the letter to determine the reasons that may have led Bokhari to draft it.

Chaudhry said the document, which has been made public, amounts to “criticising and pressurising” the court.

“We want to determine whether the letter was written in an effort to pressurise the court or to bring hatred and ridicule to the judiciary,” said the Chief Justice. “We are very serious about this and will not allow the judiciary to be maligned by anyone.”

“On November 3, 2007, we even did not allow a military dictator to interfere into the courts. How we can allow the NAB chairman to do so?” the Chief Justice said.

“We are jealously guarding our jurisdiction. The Courts are working independently,” he added.

Agha maintained that a letter was written but it might be a private one and the chairman NAB could claim privilege.

The CJ told him that if it was private then they would not take notice but if it proved otherwise, it would have serious consequences.

Khawaja Asif, PML-N legislator, appeared and apprised the bench that the letter was sent through NAB media cell.

The apex court then issued written orders to the NAB chairman to submit a verified copy of the said letter and also directed him to disclose names of authorities and media persons to whom he had sent his letter.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned until Thursday. The court had earlier decided to hold day-to-day hearings of the RPP implementation case.

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