SC to investigate Faisal’s death
ISLAMABAD, Jan 23: Heeding the demand for taking into its own hand the investigation into the mysterious death of NAB’s Assistant Director Kamran Faisal, the Supreme Court asked a separate bench on Wednesday to look into the circumstances which led to his death.
Kamran Faisal was investigating the high-profile rental power projects (RPP) scam which also involves Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry converted a office note of the court’s registrar into a constitutional petition under the enforcement of fundamental rights and ordered him to fix for hearing the matter before a different bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja on Thursday.
The court also decided to hold day-to-day hearing into implementation of the RPP case from January 29.
The court proceedings into the murder case will be in addition to investigations being carried out by police and the one-man commission of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal formed by the government. Kamran Faisal was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his official residence in Federal Lodges, Islamabad, on Jan 18.
The registrar’s note stated that Faisal’s father Abdul Hameed Chaudhry, his family and colleagues as well as the public at large had expressed concern over the insecure environment under which the office was working.
They were dissatisfied with the pace of police investigation and said they did not expect a free, fair and honest investigation into the RPP scam because of the involvement of highly influential political persons and executive authorities of the country, the note said.
“This shocking incident of murder/death/suicide is a sad commentary on the image of a public institution (NAB) which is supposed to be functioning in a free, fair and independent manner without being influenced or coerced by anyone,” the court observed in its order.
It said: “We may also point out that it is a fundamental right of all citizens that their life and property must be protected by the state, particularly of those persons who are honestly and with full dedication discharging their functions in order to investigate the allegations against the accused involved in the cases of corruption and corrupt practices, who are, prima facie, responsible for looting and plundering the wealth of this country.
“If there is any failure or disappointment and the facts come into the notice of this court, it also becomes its duty to look into the matter and independently ensure that the justice is done.”
NAB’s Prosecutor General K.K. Agha said he did not know if an FIR about the incident had been lodged, adding that NAB was not deliberately pushing the investigating agency because the bureau was already facing allegations in this regard. “We want an independent inquiry,” he said.
Mr Agha requested the court to grant an audience to NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari since he had taken a decision to suspend the investigation into the RPP scam till the completion of an inquiry into the mysterious death.
But the court ignored the request and observed that the permission would be given to the NAB chairman only if he withdrew the prosecutor general and pleaded the case himself.
The chief justice reminded Mr Agha that the rental power case had not been initiated by the court itself; it was taken up on applications moved by then sitting minister Makhdoom Faisal Hayat and PML-N parliamentarian Khawaja Asif.
Both were present in the court.
“It is not a case where NAB had taken cognizance; rather the court had directed the bureau to investigate the matter,” the chief justice observed.
He said NAB had no choice but to investigate.
“That (March 30, 2012, RPP) judgment had achieved finality since a number of reviews have been filed against the judgment,” the court observed.
Mr Agha said it would have been much better if Faisal Saleh Hayat had gone to NAB for investigation into the scam instead of coming directly to the court.
Mr Hayat retorted that to him NAB had no credibility.
Advocate Khalid Anwar, representing former finance minister Shaukat Tareen, requested the court to separate the case of his client.