ISLAMABAD: Vowing to not back out, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday made it clear that the superior judiciary will continue to adjudicate on cases related to corruption.
“Speaking on behalf of the institution, I affirm that neither we will get scared nor leave the field,” said the CJP.
He was responding to senior lawyer Naeem Bukhari, who requested him to carry on adjudications against corrupt individuals.
The chief justice said the Constitution has given immense power to the Supreme Court to enforce its judgments and it will do the same, adding that now rule of law has been prevailing.
Since its July 2017 judgment in the Panamagate case, the Supreme Court led by Justice Nisar has taken notice of a number of instances of irregularities, corruption and misuse of authority.
Due to that special focus, proceedings have been expedited in a number of cases —including the case related to 56 companies of the Punjab government, the case of transfer of billions of rupees through fake accounts and the Nandipur Power Project case.
In the cases, senior politicians like Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Shehbaz Sharif and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan are among the accused.
CJP finds ‘liquor’ bottles in Sharjeel’s hospital room
‘Memon may be shifted to Punjab’
The CJP also hinted at shifting the incarcerated PPP leader Sharjeel Memon from Sindh to Punjab in view of noncooperation of authorities in Sindh, where the PPP is in power. The CJP was talking with reference to the recovery of liquor from Memon’s hospital room, where he was admitted for medical treatment.
Commenting on his surprise visit to the hospital’s VIP room, where he had himself found liquor bottles, Justice Nisar said it was the first time he saw a sub-jail, which was better than suite in Marriot Hotel.
"I don't drink alcohol myself, but it makes no difference to me if someone else does so," the top judge said. "It seems as though honey and oil were recovered from the bottles after my visit," he added in reference to the PPP’s claim that the bottles did not contain alcohol.
No alcohol found in Sharjeel Memon's bloodstream, says medical report
Sindh chief secretary, who was present in the courtroom in connection with another suo motu case, also admitted that Memon’s blood samples seemed to be tempered as they did not show any sign of consumption of alcohol.
However, the Agha Khan University Hospital Karachi (AKUH) whose laboratories tested Memon’s blood samples issued an explanation on Tuesday, saying any hospital can send a blood sample to the AKUH Laboratories for analysis and the AKUH lab provides a report.
“A blood sample and a letter requesting a blood test was sent by Dr Ziauddin Hospital to the AKUH on Saturday. It was received by receptionist and sent onwards for analysis to the laboratory as per routine.
“The AKUH do not draw the blood sample from the patient. It is therefore not possible for AKUH to confirm whether same was drawn from Mr. Memon or when it was drawn,” said the explanation.
Corruption at PPL
Meanwhile, the top court also sought reply from federal government regarding poor state of affairs, alleged irregularities and corruption at the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL).
Hearing a two-year-old constitution petition, a three-judge SC bench, headed by the CJP Nisar, on Tuesday also sought progress report from NAB and the FIA in inquiries of corruption into a deal between the PPL and Asia Resources Oil Limited (Arol).
The bench also expressed serious concern over overlapping of jurisdiction as the same matters are being investigated both the FIA and NAB simultaneously.
“The top legal minds sit together to devise strategy to convict corrupt people in white collar crimes cases. Do you want to give benefit to the accused by investigating a case together”, the CJP asked NAB prosecutor general who was present in the courtroom.
The bench resumed hearing of a petition filed by the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) former employee Najam Haider Kamal through Naeem Bukhari against alleged corruption in the contracts of the state owned company by the PPL.
The petitioner said the public sector E&P companies –OGDCL, PPL, MPCL and GHPL – were set up with the taxpayers’ money to explore, find and produce oil and gas. The criteria to judge their performance should be based on this objective. Overall revenue generation is not really relevant.
Kamal said the two most important components of the revenue determination – wellhead price and exchange rate – are controlled externally and these companies have no contribution in it but revel in revenue generated based on these factors. The sole criterion of their performance is the oil and gas produced.
“Clearly separated into production as operator and their share from no-operated fields. Secondly, the reserve replacement, how much of oil and gas produced has been replaced by new discoveries, again divided into operated and non-operated portions. These are the facts which the PPL refuses to disclose”
The petitioner requested the SC that all the misdemeanors, malpractice be referred to NAB and all directors of the PPL held accountable. The hearing of case is adjourned for three weeks.