ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against the acquittal of former director general (DG) of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Brigadier (r) Imtiaz in the assets beyond income case.
A three-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi, heard the NAB petition against the acquittal of Brig (retd) Imtiaz’s and his wife, Nasreen Imtiaz.
During the hearing, the CJP remarked that while it is the responsibility of the anti-corruption body to determine if an official had accumulated assets beyond known sources of income, the NAB had failed to do that in the case. The NAB prosecutor argued that the verification of assets had to be made by the accused. SC throws out review pleas in fake accounts case
Upon this, the CJP Khosa said that this was a recurring problem in every case filed by NAB before 2011. “The SC gave the verdict in 2011 that proving assets beyond income was the responsibility of the NAB,” he asserted
Furthermore, the CJP noted that before accusing someone, it was imperative to provide the basis by showing that they have accumulated assets beyond their known source of income. “If that base is no covered, then it is not a crime to be nominated,” he said. The CJP also inquired about Adnan Khawaja, who was named as Brig (r) Imtiaz’s frontman. His lawyer replied that Khawaja was a businessman who owned a factory.
The NAB prosecutor countered that Khawaja acquired property using money provided to him by the retired brigadier.
Meanwhile, the brigadier’s lawyer adopted the stance that the high court verdict was correct and that NAB’s case against his client was based on ill-intentions. Upon this, Justice Yahya Afridi observed that the lawyer should answer the raised question regarding his client’s property
When the NAB lawyer was unable to provide records of illegal sources of income, the CJP remarked that the prosecution must prove that the assets had been acquired through illegal income for the court to take the case forward. The bench upheld the decision of the Lahore High Court and dismissed the NAB appeal.