ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family’s offshore wealth has told the Supreme Court that not only have some government departments adopted a non-cooperative attitude, some records related to the Panamagate case have also been tampered with.
The three-member special bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan was hearing various issues surrounding the JIT investigation on Monday. It examined the JIT’s plea wherein impediments to the interrogation have been highlighted.
The application was submitted by head of the JIT Wajid Zia. Other JIT members were also present in the courtroom.
The application says that impediments are being created in the way of the investigation and because of these hurdles the JIT may not be able to complete its interrogation within the stipulated time, which is 60 days. Out of which 30 days have passed.
After going through the JIT’s CMA (Civil Miscellaneous Application), Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan observed: “There are serious allegations levelled by the JIT in its application,” adding: “It is alleged that certain institutions are changing and tampering the record. Even forgery has been carried out.”
Another judge, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, observed that there would be far-reaching consequences in case of forgery. “You are representing the federation, not the government,” the judge told Additional Attorney General Waqar Rana.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan asked the AAGP to go through the JIT’s application and assist the bench in removing the hurdles, saying if the obstacles could not be removed then they would not be able to complete their investigation within 60 days. However, the bench has decided not to make public the JIT’s application.
It is learnt that some departments are not cooperating with the JIT during the interrogation. Likewise, the JIT is facing difficulty in getting the record related to the Panamagate from abroad. However, the JIT did not specifically name the departments.
The bench also observed that if the video recording is not being used as evidence then there is no prohibition under the law. Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Hussain Nawaz, will argue against the video recording of witnesses, who are appearing before the bench.
Meanwhile, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan wondered why state functionaries were writing letters to the Supreme Court after appearing before the JIT and later complaining about alleged misbehaviour of the JIT members and sharing the same with the media. He also asked the AAGP to assist the court in this matter as well.
Earlier, National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmad had submitted the letter in the Supreme Court over alleged misconduct by the JIT.
In a two-page letter, the NBP president claimed that he was insulted, threatened and pressurised by the JIT members during the interrogation.
In connection with the Rs1.2 billion Hudabiya Paper Mills scam against the Sharif family, the JIT had summoned Saeed Ahmad, who was also a central character in the scam, for questioning on May 27.
However, a letter was sent by Ahmad’s legal team on his behalf to the JIT members, requesting more time and more information so that the bank could make “the best effort to search for all the relevant accounts held at the NBP for all related parties”.
According to Dar’s confessional statement, a foreign currency account of Saeed Ahmad, who was the former State Bank deputy governor, was used to deposit huge funds to obtain direct and indirect credit lines.