SJC to consider PTI’s reference against NAB chief on May 16

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) will hold its meeting on May 16 to examine a reference filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) proposing the ouster of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry.
The SJC secretary announced the date of the meeting in a notification issued on Friday.
The reference proposes the deposition of Chaudhry, whose capacity to head the national accountability watchdog was questioned quite critically during the Panamagate hearings.
“That the SJC has called a meeting on May 16 is a victory for PTI,” said Fawad Chaudhry, spokesperson of PTI.
The NAB chairman first attracted the wrath of SC judge Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, when, during a hearing of the Panama case on February 21, he remarked; “You could have looked into the Panamangate matter but you didn’t.”
The NAB chairman had reportedly stuck to his stance: that he did not find the need to re-open the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, despite the fact that a Lahore High Court judge had earlier expressed the need to do so.
The Panamagate verdict too pointed out that NAB and FIA had been less than competent in fulfilling their institutional obligations, necessitating the need for a JIT.
The Panamagate verdict of April 20 directed that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) be set up to probe the controversial financial dealings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons.
The Supreme Court has received proposed names for the six officials who will eventually constitute the JIT. The JIT has been tasked to submit its findings from the probe within two months.
The JIT will include a member each from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), NAB, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).
The PTI strongly opposes the idea of NAB’s Qamar Zaman Chaudhry being a part of the investigation, citing that the Panamagate verdict itself mentioned him as somebody who failed to carry out his responsibilities with due efficiency.

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