Supreme Court direct NAB to take action against Malik Riaz cronies

WASEEM ABBASI ISLAMABAD: The nexus between National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) and property tycoon Malik Riaz has been exposed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan when a fact finding report of NAB confirmed that two Director Generals of the bureau made a fake reference against a retired military official who lost 4512 Kanal Rawalpindi land worth billions to property tycoon.

A two member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Azmat Saeed has ordered NAB during hearing of a case on 27th May 2015, to take action against its corrupt official before 11 June 2015 and submit the report in the apex court.

The apex court was hearing the application of Rawalpindi resident Col (R) Khalid Rashid against NAB officials.

Sources said a serving Director General of NAB (Major Saleem Shehzad currently serving as DG NAB KPK) and recently retired former Director General NAB Rawalpindi Col (retd) Subah Sadiq are accused of preparing a “bogus” reference against Col (Retd) Khalid Rashid who was actually a complainant in land grabbing case against Malik Riaz and Habib Rafique.

According to victim Khalid Rashid, his precious land in village Takht Pari of Rawalpindi was illegally grabbed by property tycoon of Rawalpindi in connivance with corrupt officials of treasury department.

“On my application, the Anti Corruption Department of Punjab directed to register cases against tehsildar, patwaris and Malik Riaz for grabbing my land but corrupt NAB officials including former DG Col (Retd) Subah Sadiq got the case transferred to NAB to benefit their tycoon friend,” he said.

“After successfully transferring the case to NAB, instead of punishing the land grabbers, former DG NAB illegally filed a fake reference against me which was eventually dismissed by the Accountability Court No1 on the basis of finding no evidence against me,” he said.     “I was forced to move the Supreme Court to get justice against corrupt NAB officials,” Rashid said. He said shockingly former DG NAB is now employed by partner of Malik Riaz in his company Patrotrade without two-years after the his retirement from the government job which is a gross violation of law.

The victim is appearing in the Supreme Court in person while the other party is represented by top lawyers including Ch Aitzaz Ahsan. The Supreme Court said the court has even considered the possibility of sending cases of NAB officials to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further probe.

“We have consciously avoided doing so today because of the assurance given by the NAB that any functionaries present or past shall be dealt with in accordance of the law,” says the written order of the court issued on 27th May 2015.

A copy of the order is available with The News. The court also examined a fact finding report prepared by a two member committee headed by DG NAB Rawalpindi Zahir Shah which also confirmed that NAB officials prepared the reference against the victim of land grabbing in “unprecedented haste” without due process and transparency.

The NAB report also recommended formal inquiry against all concerned officials of the Bureau under National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

“A very cursory examination of the (NAB’s fact finding) report shows that even according to NAB there was some significant wrongdoing on the part of NAB,” says the written order of the apex court.

“There are numerous findings in the report but the cumulative effect of the same is that although the matter was initiated on 02-02-2010 by the applicant before the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), even after a lapse of five years and almost four years since NAB took up the case on 15.11.2011, the matter has not seen any progress or probe into the apparent malfeasance and maladministration within NAB.

Even those functionaries of NAB, who according to the NAB report prima facie appeared to be culpable, have not been proceeded against,” reads the Supreme Court Order.

The court further directed the NAB to take action on its fact finding report and inform the court at least two days before the next hearing on 11 June 2015.

When contacted, NAB spokesman Nawazish Ali Asim said the Supreme Court order will be implemented in letter and spirit.

“In this connection, the NAB’s Executive Board Meeting (EBM) has decided to constitute a joint investigation team (JIT) to conduct inquiry against the officers of NAB for misuse of authority, hampering of evidence and abuse of process of law.” said the spokesperson.

An earlier press release issued by NAB mentioned one officer Baqir Raza Kazmi as the target of JIT inquiry but talking to The News Nawazish refused to name other officers saying the names will be revealed after conclusion of the JIT probe.

When asked whether there is any provision for JIT in NAB Ordinance 1999, he said NAB is a superior body which can seek help from any other institution for its probe.

Sources said JIT will comprise officials of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Police and NAB has already written letters to both departments to nominate their respective officers for JIT. End

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