The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will issue fresh summons, yet again, to the Supreme Court registrar, asking him to appear before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing the alleged underhand transactions between the chief justice’s son and a business tycoon.
Despite being summoned by the NAB twice, Dr Faqir Hussain refused to appear before the five-member JIT on Friday.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son, Dr Arslan Iftikhar, has already expressed his distrust of the bureau’s JIT and has challenged the attorney general’s move to approach NAB for investigations into the alleged financial dealings between Dr Arsalan and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz.
Riaz has alleged that Dr Arsalan received monetary and other benefits worth millions of rupees from him to settle pending cases in courts against Bahria Town by using the influence his father possess on the judiciary.
Dr Arsalan contested the composition of the JIT, challenged the members’ impartiality and claimed they were ‘affectees’ of his father’s decisions in different cases in the past.
While hearing a case regarding objections raised by Dr Arsalan, a division bench of the apex court on Thursday had expressed displeasure over the language used by the NAB to summon the SC registrar.
The bench comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain had sought explanation from NAB Prosecutor General KK Aga as to why the JIT was calling the court official and in what capacity was he required in the case.
Aga had replied that the bureau wanted to question Dr Hussain on his television interview. In response, the court remarked that if it was required, NAB may summon him in a personal capacity but not as the registrar of the apex court. The bench also directed the bureau to communicate with Dr Hussain on his personal residential address.
On the basis of the court proceedings, Dr Hussain sent a letter to the JIT.
NAB, after Friday’s meeting of the JIT, announced a third summons to Dr Hussain in his private capacity strictly in accordance with the directions given by the Supreme Court in its order dated 26.07.2012.
Since Dr Hussain would be summoned in his private capacity, the summons would be sent at his personal residential address, the NAB’s media office said.
“Any correspondence by Dr Faqir Hussain as registrar or by using the official letter-head of the Supreme Court henceforth will not be entertained by the JIT to the extent of his version or contention in this case. The summons is likely to be issued for his personal appearance before JIT sometime next week,” the media office added.
NAB has also sent a request for International Mutual Legal Assistance from relevant authorities in the UK through diplomatic channels and the UK High Commission in Pakistan.
The bureau’s JIT has also sought the services of Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) for technical assistance and to ensure transparency in the process of gathering evidence in this case.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.