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June 5, 2020

Can a ‘source report’ be evidence against any officer?

Top Story

June 5, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government’s inquiry against a sugar cartel’s alleged mole, who was removed by the Sugar Commission from its probe for being suspected of working for the cartel, is primarily based on a “source report” of the Intelligence Bureau.

It raises a fundamental question whether a source report of any intelligence agency could be used as evidence against anyone in a court of law or official inquiry.

The charge sheet issued by the interior ministry to Additional Director FIA Sajjad Bajwa says the officer “as per source report from IB” was in contact with the management of the concerned Sugar Mill, which was being probed by a team led by Bajwa. “You were in constant contact with Mill’s management and colluded to cause delay in the process of investigation. According to the report (IB’s), you were not only sharing your own report, but also the information unearthed by other departments,” reads the charge sheet.

The officer was also alleged for discreetly allowing access to mill management to the forensic assessment of the Commission before finalization of the report, giving the mill management a chance to reconcile their record and rectify their alleged wrongdoings and appear clean in the final report.

The officer was also accused of trying to engage a private person, associated with the mill management, to write the report on his behalf.

The charge sheet also said that the officer’s performance was also poor and unsatisfactory. He was also alleged for having contacts with the media.

In his response, the officer rejected the allegations and said the charge sheet had been instigated by some persons with bias and personal motive against him.

He said, “Going to the factory premises and head office of Alliance Sugar Mill and meeting with the staff and management of the mills occurred during the normal course of investigation and with the express permission/order of the DGFIA. As such, this does not amount to any violation of law as portrayed in the charge-sheet.”

He said some of his senior officers in FIA, including the one who has been made inquiry officer in the present inquiry against him, became angry against him during the probe. He added that he was also threatened by a member of the Sugar Commission during the course of inquiry.

Regarding his contact with the mill management, he said he along with the members of his team contacted the mill management.

“There is nothing wrong in this,” he said, adding that these contacts were part of his investigation.

He also denied that he gave the mill management access to the Commission's forensic assessment, which he said remained in the possession of the Commission and was never shared with him.

The officer has also requested the authorized officer to change the inquiry officer besides providing him relevant documents relating to the charge sheet.

He also approached the inquiry officer to stop the inquiry till the decision of the authorized officer over his request for change of the inquiry officer.

“The decision of the competent authority is still awaited but your insistence to appear before you further proved my allegations that you have personal grudge against me due to which you do not want to wait for the decision of the competent authority,” the officer wrote in the letter available with The News.