The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) chief has constituted a joint-investigation team (JIT) to probe the graft case involving chief justice’s son Arsalan Iftikhar and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz.
The five-member team formed by NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari will be headed by the bureau’s director general (financial crimes) and includes a member each from the police and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and three members from NAB itself, said an official statement issued on Tuesday.
In its first meeting held at the NAB headquarters on Tuesday, the team decided to procure all relevant material from quarters concerned within a week. The committee noted that it will be in a better position to proceed further after it has analysed the material.
NAB had received a letter from the Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir last week asking the apex corruption watchdog to form a JIT and initiate investigations into the graft case of over Rs300 million. Meanwhile, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood of the Lahore High Court declined to hear a writ petition seeking directions to restrain NAB from probing the case citing personal reasons.
As a division bench started its proceedings, senior judge Justice Masood pointed out that since Arsalan Chaudhry’s counsel Sardar Muhammad Ishaq is his brother, it would not be appropriate for him to sit on the bench and hear the case. Following Justice Masood’s recuse, the bench asked the chief justice to formulate another bench. The other judge serving on this bench is Justice Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah.
Resident of Sialkot, Amanullah Bhatti maintained through his counsel that since the matter concerns two individuals and has not caused any loss to the national exchequer, it does not fall under the purview of NAB.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.
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