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NAB chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: In line with his rather aggressive stance in the rental power scam issue, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari reiterated on Friday the assertion of “personal remarks made against him by the Supreme Court judges”.

“At times (remarks) were too critical and personal casting aspersions on the integrity, motive and the very bona fide of the appellant,” Admiral Bokhari said in his intra-court appeal (ICA) submitted to the court.

The appeal drafted by his counsel Sardar Latif Khosa requested the apex court to set aside its March 21 decision to indict him on contempt charges.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will frame on Monday contempt charges against Admiral Bokhari for writing a letter to the president in which he accused the superior judiciary of influencing the bureau’s ongoing investigation into the RPP (rental power projects) scam.

If the ICA is accepted it will be fixed before a different and bigger bench for hearing.

“The order (March 21) under appeal with utmost respect has not fostered the ends of justice nor has it strengthened the investigating institutions for eradicating corruption and corrupt practices which are desperately and entirely clamoured by the people of Pakistan,” the ICA argued.

It said the structural edifice of the institution (NAB) could only be strengthened if allowed to work within the parameters of the law, shorn of repetitive interference which only bred frustration, despondency and a rather destructive of its very existence.

The ICA stated: “Over the period he (Admiral Bokhari) felt that NAB and its officers were being treated abrasively and severely where the results could have been achieve by guidance than harshness.

“In the course of proceedings in various cases, the appellant was directed to appear in person in many cases. Three notices of contempt were consequently issued against him and a petition against the form of consultation for his appointment has not yet been decided.

“Other officers of the bureau too were called in person on different occasions. This started to show strain on the performance of the bureau. The media stepped in and further aggravated this position. This state of affairs started to affect the appellant and the bureau’s performance. The appellant feels that he is unable to perform his functions in accordance with the law and that he is being straight jacketed and not allowed the space that he requires.

“Other officers of the bureau are also under tremendous strain. The work on the prevention side where Rs1.5 trillion worth of purchases and projects are under scrutiny begin to suffer under the perception being created by a section of the media that the top leadership of NAB is ‘tainted’ to use their wordings.”

Admiral Bokhari again alleged that Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had informed him somewhere in the middle of last year i.e. 2012 that the judiciary wished to see Advocate Raja Amir Abbas as member of NAB’s legal branch. But he said he could not accommodate the wish because of adverse opinion on record in the bureau against the individual.

“The appellant believes that his inability to immediately accede to wish incurred judiciary’s displeasure and precipitated the issuance of successive notices against him and all officers working on the RPP case,” the ICA said.

Admiral Bokhari alleged that he had been attacked by the judiciary when it remarked that he had sleepless nights because the government had given him a plot worth Rs100 million. “The truth is that the appellant does not have a plot of any value in Islamabad given to him by the government,” the ICA said.

Similarly, it said, Admiral Bokhari had been attacked by Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, son of the chief justice, in an application submitted to the court in which the appellant had been accused in a cruel and abrasive manner of being a person of “suspect past” and that he was on the payroll of Malik Riaz Hussain of Bahria Town.

“The appellant never reacted to such accusations. However, the hurt and humiliation caused was considerable,” the ICA said. Admiral Bokhari contended that there was no contempt of court law in the field and the entire proceedings by the three-judge bench were “illegal and void ab initio and corum non-judice”.