ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Thursday expressed resentment after the joint investigation team complained that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was not provided record of some key persons despite repeated requests.

On Attorney General of Pakistan’s offering assistance, the court told JIT head Wajid Zia to provide the list of specific documents to him, and directed the AGP to submit report on next hearing.

The three-judge bench, set up to oversee implementation of April 20 judgment in Panama leaks case, ordered the investigation team to file a final report on Sharif family’s assets on July 10.

The court, which had rejected Hussain Nawaz’ plea a few days ago, asked AGP Ashtar Ausaf to file written statement telling if the government had any concerns if the name of the person was revealed who leaked the photo of prime minister’s son to social media.

Hussain Nawaz in May had filed an application requesting the Supreme Court to direct the JIT to stop video recording of witness statements, and constitute a judicial commission to inquire into leakage of the photo grab of his JIT appearance video.

During the hearing, bench head Justice Ejaz Afzal said to JIT head Wajid Zia, “We want to know the purpose for keeping secret the name of the person who leaked the picture of Hussain Nawaz.”

Wajid replied that the name of the person had been kept secret for security reasons.

Upon that Justice Ejaz said the AGP has better sense of security concerns. The court then directed AGP Ashtar Ausaf to file a written statement telling if the government has any reservation on disclosure of the name.

At the outset, the JIT head presented the reports, which he had brought in a sealed envelope that he opened it in the courtroom, to the bench members. The reports were in the hard binding book form with tags. Judges examined the reports for around 10 minutes.

FBR ‘withholding’ record

The court inquired from JIT chief whether the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have provided record to the investigation team.

Wajid Zia replied that the SECP had provided some record but the FBR was not providing the record of the people who were at the helm of the affairs. He informed that they have written three letters to the FBR .

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan asked him whether the FBR gave specific reasons of not providing the record . “They should have at least informed you if the record is not available or lost, or destroyed,” the judge added.

The JIT head responded that the FBR had not given any proper reply.

Justice Ejaz Afzal, who was heading the bench, said why the JIT did not bring this matter into their notice earlier.

Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf said if the JIT provide him the list of the specific documents they require and he would raise the issue with the FBR .

Justice Ejaz said: “We appreciate the level of cooperation [from you] but it is shocking that the FBR is not giving the record .” The court has directed the JIT to complete interrogation in 60 days, he reminded the AGP.

Justice Ijaz also pointed out that the investigation team has written more than one letters to FBR in this connection.

Justice Azmat said: “It is not good that for everything the court engages you [AGP]. The FBR should have provided documents to the JIT . It is very disturbing”.

He added that this is the court’s order therefore the government departments and the ministries are bound to provide relevant record to the JIT .

Ashtar Ausaf said that let him find out, as nothing can be said without hearing the FBR . He said that some record is not kept after some specific time. He proposed sending a notice to the FBR chairman.

Justice Ejaz asked from the JIT head whether he made a request for seeking any specific documents from the FBR . He replied they asked for wealth and income tax statements of the respondents (PM and his sons).

The judge asked Wajid Zia to list the documents and give it to the AGP and if there would be a need, the court will summon the FBR chief. He also directed the attorney general to file the report.

Justice Ijaz said foot dragging “will not take you (the government) anywhere” rather it would inflict harm and would have adverse effects.

The AGP said it was in the interest of the government that the JIT finalise the report in 60 days.

Justice Ijaz also asked from the AGP whether an inquiry has been initiated against the SECP for tampering with the record , and in how much time the probe will be completed. The attorney general replied that it will not take much time.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Spokesman Fawwad Chaudhry said that the heads of FBR , IB and SECP are holding acting charge. Justice Azmat quipped: “Then they are acting well”.

Justice Ejaz said: “The media say nasty things but we are not bothered and we will proceed in accordance with the law.”

The attorney general said he had court’s attention in this regard in the beginning of the case.

The case was adjourned until July 10.

 

 

FBR not providing Sharifs’ record , JIT informs SC