LAHORE - In one of its first ever venture, the chairman Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan has chaired subsequent meetings of two corresponding divisions of SECP namely Securities Market Division and Prosecution and Legal Affairs Division in the SECP Headquarters wherein the newly formulated investigation and prosecutorial strategy was reviewed.

As a strategy, the chairman has taken a firm stand for regulating the organization and has given directives to start initiating the surveillance and security activities with a prompt effect in order to curb capital market offences.

The Surveillance, Supervision and Enforcement Department was disbanded by the previous acting Chairman Zafar Abdullah and Commissioner Tahir Mehmood in a surprise move to provide undue advantage to various accused persons in last December 22, 2017. Since then not even a single case or any investigation whatsoever was initiated regarding fraudulent market practices, market rigging, market manipulation and insider trading. In addition to above, the then acting Chairman along with the Commissioner for the reasons best known to them also removed the Chief Prosecutor from the Prosecution. Nevertheless, the sign of relief comes from the new Chairman Shaukat Hussain who in an unprecedented move ordered an aggressive pursuance of all criminal prosecutions pending adjudication in courts.

According to sources privy to development, the Chairman showed his severe discontent and dismayed over the lackluster attitude of the Head of the Surveillance Department who remain oblivious to the recent departments.

The environment in which the SECP operates has become increasingly complex, requiring novel, pro-active, creative and intelligent strategies to effectively and efficiently investigate and prosecute. The Chairman directed the concerned enforcement department to form a combine investigation team led by the senior investigation officers along with the forensic and legal experts. This mechanism will further enhanced the transparency and efficiency in investigation processes.

Chairman was also briefed about the extended mandate of SECP in curbing financial and corporate crimes. It is important to note that till date, 26 cases were sent to NAB for Joint Investigations but none of them reached to its fruition. On the other hand, for the last 3 years, SECP filed 26 criminal prosecutions in the Sessions Courts while 55 investigations and more than 100 inquiries had been successfully conducted with regard to capital market offences the ratio of which is quite high in the last years of the SECP.

Chairman applauded the positive results achieved by the SECP in the past three years which have come at a cost. The speed at which the SECP has been able to respond to situations requiring the exercise of its mandate has been remained tremendous.

The chairman also directed the concerned officers to adopt to the high pace of technological evolution which has changed the sources of information, and the manner in which evidence is obtained and presented in court.