JIT Constitution May Lead to Even Strict Implications #PanamaPapers
Sufficient material, as highlighted in para 16 above, has surfaced on the record which prima facie shows that respondent No. 1, his dependents and benamidars acquired assets in the early nineties and thereafter which being disproportionate to his known means of income call for a thorough investigation. In the normal circumstances this job could well be done by NAB, but when its Chairman, in view of his conduct he has demonstrated in Hudaibya’s case by not filing an appeal against a split verdict of the Lahore High Court, appears to be indifferent and even unwilling to perform his part, we are constrained to constitute a joint investigation team (JIT) which would consist of the following members:
- a senior Officer of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), not below the rank of Additional Director General who shall head the team having firsthand experience of investigation of white collar crime and related matters;
ii) a representative of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB);
iii) a nominee of the Security & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) familiar with the issues of money laundering and white collar crimes;
iv) a nominee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP);
v) a seasoned Officer of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) nominated by its Director General; and
vi) a seasoned Officer of Military Intelligence (M.I.) nominated by its Director General.
24. The Heads of the aforesaid departments/ institutions shall recommend the names of their nominees for the JIT within seven days from today which shall be placed before us in chambers for nomination and approval. The JIT shall investigate the case and collect evidence, if any, showing that respondent No. 1 or any of his dependents or benamidars owns, possesses or has acquired assets or any interest therein disproportionate to his known means of income. Respondents No. 1, 7 and 8 are directed to appear and associate themselves with the JIT as and when required. The JIT may also examine the evidence and material, if any, already available with the FIA and NAB relating to or having any nexus with the possession or acquisition of the aforesaid flats or any other assets or pecuniary resources and their origin. The JIT shall submit its periodical reports every two weeks before a Bench of this Court constituted in this behalf. The JIT shall complete the investigation and submit its final report before the said Bench within a period of sixty days from the date of its constitution. The Bench thereupon may pass appropriate orders in exercise of its powers under Articles 184(3), 187(2) and 190 of the Constitution including an order for filing a reference against respondent No. 1 and any other person having nexus with the crime if justified on the basis of the material thus brought on the record before it.
25. It is further held that upon receipt of the reports, periodic or final of the JIT, as the case may be, the matter of disqualification of respondent No. 1 shall be considered and appropriate orders, in this behalf, be passed, if so required.
26. We would request the Hon’ble Chief Justice to constitute a Special Bench to ensure implementation of this judgment so that the investigation into the allegations may not be left in a blind alley.