The government failed to submit before the Supreme Court a notification regarding the alleged formation in 1975 of a political cell in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, resumed hearing of Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan’s petition which alleges that millions of rupees were distributed among politicians by the intelligence agencies in a bid to rig the 1990 parliamentary elections.
During the last hearing, the bench had directed Attorney General Irfan Qadir to submit the notification for setting up ISI’s political cell.
“We cannot comment on the political cell in the ISI until we do not read the notification [which explains] under what circumstances [it was] created and about its mandate,” it said.
Qadir informed the bench that he had written to the law and interior secretaries but they replied that the notification was not found.
Mehran, State Bank reports
Earlier the government had failed to produce key reports of a commission formed to investigate the alleged rigging.
The attorney general told the bench that the law secretary had written letters to Shahid Hamid, then law secretary, as well Chairman of the Commission Justice (retd) Muhammad Ilyas for information on the ‘missing’ reports on Habib Bank and Mehran Bank.
The law ministry also communicated with former law minister Fakharuddin G Ibrahim in this regard, Qadir said, adding that they were still waiting for a reply.
Justice Chaudhry was not satisfied with the lack of progress, saying that so far no official record was presented before the court, which has been relying on privately available documents.
The attorney general assured the court that they would be provided more clues into the whereabouts of the crucial reports in the next hearing.
Makhdoom Ali Khan appeared on behalf of Habib Bank, while the State Bank’s representative, Mansoor Siddique, submitted two documents that contained details of accounts used in the alleged rigging.
Makhdoom informed the court that the inquiry commission did not provide findings of the reports to the banks. However, he added, the banks had submitted relevant documents useful for the inquiry before the commission.
The State Bank documents revealed that Younas Habib had transferred money into 15 accounts by violating set rules. The chief justice said that they would examine how these reports would be helpful in resolving the controversy.
He said if the commission reports are not presented before the court, they have to determine the status, nature and delivery of the amount on the basis of the material available on the documents of Habib Bank and Mehran Bank, and the report supplied by private TV channel anchorperson.
The case has been adjourned till June 18.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.
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