SC decides to indict NAB chief on April 2 on contempt charges

ISLAMABAD: A three member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday decided to indict National Accountability Bureau NAB chairman Admiral r Fasih Bokhari on April 02 on contempt of court charges.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, also rejected a request moved by Naveed Rasool Mirza, counsel for NAB chairman, seeking to refer the case to any other bench.

Naveed Rasool Mirza argued that since the letter written to the President by his client about judicial interference in NAB’s affairs, was against the chief justice, thus he should not hear the matter and refer to any other bench.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed noted that the letter was not against the chief justice, instead it was against the institution of the Supreme Court and the name of the apex court was used in the letter about ten times. He said in the letter not a single judge but the entire apex court was disgraced.

The court held that Naveed Rasool had been failed to give any legal justification to substantiate his contentions that the matter should be referred to any other bench. The court further held that the letter attracted the judicial as well as criminal contempt of court.

The chief justice remarked that no extraordinary measures had been taken to issue a notice to NAB chairman, adding that the former and incumbent prime ministers had also appeared before the apex court.

NAB chairman was issued a showcause notice for contempt of court over a letter he had sent to President Asif Ali Zardari. In his letter sent on Jan 27, Bokhari accused the apex court of interfering in NAB investigations, particularly against politicians, and endangering the independence of their work.

He accused the court of colluding with a section of the media against NAB. “This campaign, in which the role of the Supreme Court appears evident, is placing great pressure on me to please the apex court in what could be seen as prepoll rigging,” Bokhari had written.