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Friday Nov 22, 2013

NICL scam: SC orders to register case against NAB chairman, others

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC), while announcing the verdict in NICL corruption case, ordered to register case against National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry for creating hurdles in the investigation process, Geo News reported Friday.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry concluded the hearing of the case last week and had saved the verdict. Today, the court made the decision public and ordered to register cases against those who tried to hamper the investigation process of the mega corruption case, including NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry and Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Abdul Rauf Chaudhry.

The order further stated that appointment of Ayaz Khan Niazi was also illegal, and instructed the concerned authorities to initiate proceedings against former minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Nargis Sethi also.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry remarked that corruption culture was promoted by hindering the investigation process.

Qamar Zaman Chaudhry and Abdul Rauf Chaudhry were facing contempt charges in the NICL case wherein it was alleged that they created hurdles in the smooth investigation of one of the biggest financial scams in Pakistan. The two, however, had denied all charges against them.

Sources close to Abdul Rauf Chaudhry said that he was an honest officer and had a spotless career while a recent press release from Qamar Zaman Chaudhry also denied all charges against him and maintained that he acted upon SC judgments.

In the Khawaja Asif case, the Supreme Court had ruled that all top appointments in government corporations and regulatory bodies should be made through a commission which should be headed by chairman NAB, the Federal Ombudsman, FTO or head of any such body.

The PML-N government first appointed Abdul Rauf Chaudhry as FTO and later appointed him as chairman of the commission for top appointments. Qamar was made chairman NAB after an agreement between the PM and the leader of the opposition. Since he was considered close to both so the appointment was criticised by all and sundry.

Top law ministry officials said that if the apex court passed any adverse remark against any of these two officials or any other officer or held them responsible for anything wrong, they will lose their respective positions.

Officials said that the legal course defined in the law will have to be adopted for removing any officer but the federal government will be bound to initiate such a process if the apex court judgment contains any such adverse finding.

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