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March 20, 2020

Reference against Khursheed Shah: No room in law to form JIT, says IHC

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March 20, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended a NAB notification for constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) and stopped investigation in the assets beyond means reference against the PPP leader Khursheed Shah.

A division bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Ghulam Azam, heard Khursheed Shah’s plea challenging the NAB orders for formation of a JIT in case on Thursday. Representing Shah, Raza Rabbani argued that there was no provision in the NAB Ordinance for constituting a JIT but it was framed with members taken from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). “The NAB has filed interference in the accountability court Sukkur,” he said.

Justice Aamir Farooq remarked that it might be the interim reference. He said the NAB filed an interim reference like an interim challan, whereas there was no room in the law to file such reference. The court suspended the order and said only a NAB investigation officer would hold inquiry into the case against the accused. The court issued a notice to the NAB and adjourned hearing till March 26. The petition states that Shah is a law-abiding and peace-loving citizen engaged in politics. It states that he had been an elected member of the provincial as well as the National Assembly besides local bodies and also held the portfolio of a minister. It further said that in 2001 and 2002, the NAB Sindh conducted an inquiry against him in the said case and now the anti-corruption watchdog had once again issued orders for the formation of a JIT. The plea said the NAB had completed investigation in the case. The petition pleaded that the NAB notification of joint investigation team be declared null and void.