National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal on Friday banned transfers and postings in the anti-graft watchdog.
The chairman also immediately stopped postings/transfers that have been made recently in the bureau besides directing the NAB headquarters as well as its all regional bureaus to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in true letter and spirit.
This comes a day after the apex court on Thursday barred authorities from transferring and making new appointments in high-profile cases related to the NAB as well as those heard by special courts.
The orders came from the top court during the hearing of a suo motu case on the perceived apprehension of “persons in authority” undermining the criminal justice system.
A five-judge larger bench, comprising CJP Bandial Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the case and issued notices to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director-general, NAB chairman, and interior secretary.
On Wednesday, CJP Ata Bandial took the notice of perceived interference in the “independence of the prosecution branch in the performance of its powers and duties for the investigation and prosecution of pending criminal matters involving persons in authority in the government”.
The chief justice took notice of the perceived interference on the recommendations of a judge belonging to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the statement issued by the apex court said.
At the outset of Thursday’s hearing, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial expressed concerns over transfers and appointments of officials in high-profile cases refraining prosecution from withdrawing such cases.
The chief justice noted that several officers were transferred from NAB Lahore and FIA, adding that the FIA’s prosecutor in the Lahore High Court was also replaced. The court further maintained that DG FIA Sanaullah Abbasi and director Rizwan were also replaced.