RAWALPINDI: A permanent high-powered committee will be set up shortly to act as Ombudsman for prevention and eradication of corruption at higher levels of administration, according to a decision of the President’s Council of Adminis­tration announced here today [April 21]. The committee will be headed by a serving or retired judge of the High Court or the Supreme Court.

It said that all members of the Administration from the President of Pakistan down to the joint secretaries and other equivalent officials will file declaration of immovable and movable assets held by them or members of their dependent families, or held by them in the name of any other person at the time of assumption and relinquishment of the charge of the respective offices.

The Committee will have the power to examine the declaration, initiate enquiry suo moto or entertain complaints against officials. The Committee will refer cases of acquisition of property by corrupt, illegal or unlawful means to the Chief Martial Law Administrator along with its findings and recommendations for necessary action, including trial by a high-powered tribunal to be formed for trying cases of corruption. The Committee will also have the powers of a court to summon witnesses and call documents and to order searches and discoveries.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2019