ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday requested an explanation from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for the judge’s scandal and refused his request to discard the bail application from the Opposition Leader at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and former housing minister Akram Khan Durrani.
Just a day before coming with that request, NAB withdrew an arrest warrant that had been issued against Mr Durrani last year. The former minister has applied for a pre-arrest guarantee before the IHC to avoid arrest.
Look for an explanation for the ‘scandal’ judge after the bureau requests to close the matter
When a division of the IHC consisting of Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Judge Aamer Farooq resumed hearings regarding bail requests, NAB’s additional public prosecutor Jahanzeb Khan Bharwana told the court that the request had become unproductive because the arrest warrant for Mr Durrani had been withdrawn. He then asked the court to resolve the issue.
In a previous trial on March 17, Chief Justice Minallah had observed that the NAB had attempted to shame and blackmail judges by leveling the accusations against several IHC judges and other court officials in their investigative report stating that they had been given out of turn for government accommodation. He also expressed frustration at NAB’s request to maintain the confidentiality of the report and observed that it could be an attempt to drag the judge into controversy in an attempt to blackmail them.
Bangku has also asked NAB to notify the court if the report has been prepared with the approval of retired Judge Javed Iqbal, the bureau chief.
But on Wednesday, Bharwana informed the court that the investigative officer in this case had been replaced, because the investigation had been assigned to another officer. He told the IHC bench that an arrest warrant for the opposition leader had been withdrawn, asking him to discard the problem.
Judge Minallah observed that because the names of judges had been included in the NAB report, therefore, the judge would detail the case.
“If we make a mistake and are given a house that cannot be passed, we are also responsible,” said the head of the court.
In 2015, the Ministry of Housing and Employment allegedly made allotments from official dwellings to bailiffs and IHC staff. The rationing, however, is in accordance with the “High Court Order (Leave, Pension and Special Rights)”.
While rejecting NAB’s request to discard bail requests from opposition leaders in the KP Assembly, the bench asked prosecutors to submit reports of officers entrusted with the investigation and postpone further hearings on the matter until May 12.
However, Judge Farooq resigned from listening to this case further.
Reference to the head of NAV
Meanwhile, former president of the Islamabad High Court Association of Raja Inam Ameen Minhas said that the NAB had prepared false reports to undermine the judiciary. He said the actions of the head of the NAB and other officials behind the fake report were tantamount to violations. He said the federal capital lawyer was upset over the judicial targeting action and intended to submit a reference to the NAB chairman before the appropriate forum.
Published in Dawn, April 9, 2020
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