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SC rejects NAB chief's exemption request in contempt case

21 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday, while rejecting National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman's request for exemption from personal appearance in the court in contempt case, expressed concern over the news report that the government has decided to form a commission on Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari's letter to President Asif Ali Zardari.

In his letter, Bokhari had complained that the Supreme Court was unnecessarily pressurising the NAB officials in investigations related to high profile matters, especially the rental power projects case. Hearing the contempt case against the NAB chairman, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, questioned how could a commission supervise the Supreme Court's affairs.

According to the details, SC registrar office informed the chief justice that two local newspapers published news reports that the government has formed a two-member commission headed by Justice (r) Nawaz Abbasi over the NAB chairman's letter to the president. However, the law secretary has denied the report. Likewise, the NAB chief's counsel, Navid Rasool Mirza, also told the bench that he had no knowledge of the creation of the commission.

The court has issued notices to publishers, printers and editors of the newspapers that had published the news regarding the formation of the commission. It has also refused to exempt the NAB chairman from personal appearance in his case. The hearing of the case has been adjourned until March 14. Submitting reply of the NAB chairman, Navid Rasul Mirza said that his client had always shown great respect to the judiciary and never thought of committing contempt of court. He said the NAB chairman had written the letter to President Zardari in his personal capacity and it was not meant for media.

The counsel said the letter was leaked and shown by an Indian TV channel for the first time. He further said that when the NAB chairman came to the Supreme Court in connection with the RPPs implementation case, the reporters sought a copy of the letter, therefore the NAB media cell released it to journalists. He prayed the court to graciously discharge the notice.

End.

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