The Supreme Court said on Thursday that evidence indicated to a link between the death of a National Accountability Bureau officer and the rental power plants (RPPs) case that the court has been hearing.
“All indications and evidences show that this unnatural death has a link with the case we were hearing. This is not an ordinary case,” said Justice Jawad S Khwaja, while heading a bench that started hearing a suo motu case regarding Kamran Faisal’s death on Thursday.
Faisal, who was an investigation officer in RPPs scandal, was found dead in his hostel room last Friday. Although an autopsy report ruled his death a suicide, the deceased’s family and colleagues disputed the findings and called for a judicial probe.
His death came just three days after the Supreme Court ordered NAB to arrest the accused in the RPPs case, including Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
During the proceedings, Justice Khawaja said it was important to determine whether there was any link between Faisal’s death and the order that the prime minister and 15 other officials be arrested.
“After the order in the RPPs case, it also becomes important for the court to ascertain if there was an attempt to interfere into the proceedings of RPP case,” he added.
The court observed that all statements revealed that Faisal was under immense pressure and added that it was the bureau’s responsibility to investigate who had been pressuring him.
If NAB is unable to protect its officials, the institution should be abolished, warned Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.
Notices issued to NAB, PTA chairmen
The court also issued notices to the NAB chairman and senior officials, as well as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman, IG Islamabad and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences medical superintendent.
The NAB chairman has been directed to submit details on his meeting with Faisal prior to his death. The court sought the script and footage of the chairman’s video conference with the bureau’s investigation officers.
It also requested the PTA to submit Faisal’s phone record and sought CCTV footage of the Federal Lodges as well as NAB’s headquarters, where Faisal was residing, as well.
Faisal’s brother-in-law Hamid Munir told the court that his family is of the view that the death was homicide, not suicide. He requested the court to seek the records of top NAB officials’ meeting with Kamran after January 15.
FIR yet to be registered
The apex court also questioned the Islamabad police over its failure to register an FIR in the case, and observed that in such cases there was no need for an applicant.
Justice Khilji remarked that NAB and police seemed to be on same page when it came to not providing justice, which, he added, was contrary to the teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Instead, they are busy arranging ceremonies on the eve of Eid-e-Milad, he added.
The hearing was adjourned till January 28.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the government has formed a commission to probe the NAB officer’s death, even though medical reports ruled the death a suicide. While addressing a press conference at the NADRA headquarters, Malik said the incident had jolted the entire nation and assured that the case would be probed thoroughly.
(With additional input from AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2013.