ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) rejected on Tuesday a plea filed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz against video recording of proceedings by the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family’s offshore wealth in line with the apex court’s April 20 judgment.
Allowing the probe body to continue audio/video recordings, the three-judge implementation bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, observed that the person who leaked Hussain’s photo on social media had already been identified.
The bench further observed that the JIT can only use the video recording for the purpose of preparation of transcript of the statements. “They can’t use video recording as evidence unless law is not being amended by the Parliament.”
Hussain had earlier submitted an application before the bench, requesting to direct the JIT members to ‘immediately’ stop video recording of its proceedings relating to the recording of statements and interrogation of witnesses.
The premier’s son pleaded the apex court to constitute an independent commission headed by a retired or a sitting judge of the apex court to inquire into the circumstances leading to his photograph being leaked on social media and identify the person(s) involved in the affair. He had also alleged that one or all members of the JIT or some persons working under it or at their behest have leaked his photograph in the interrogation room.
The probe body subsequently informed the court that it identified the official who leaked the picture of the prime minister’s son on social media and immediately relieved him of his assigned duties after the bench had asked the JIT to submit its input on Hussain’s plea.
Meanwhile, the bench also allowed time to Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali to submit a concise statement on the JIT’s allegations against Intelligence Bureau (IB), the civilian intelligence agency, for creating hindrance in the ongoing investigation.
Once against expressing its concern over a government-run media campaign against the judiciary, the bench warned the government functionaries against going to press. “Instead of submitting their concerns in the court why are the government functionaries publishing articles and news stories,” asked Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh.
“Media circus and media trial should be stopped,” Justice Ijazul Ahsen asked the AGP. The judge lamented that the government itself was providing material to media persons who cannot be blamed for publishing it.
The bench asked the AGP to tell “self-appointed government spokespersons” to show restraint while issuing statements.
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