The SC questions the delay in the fact-finding committee’s findings and finds the medical report “unsatisfactory.”
The government was mandated by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday to file an FIR by tonight in the murder case of Arshad Sharif. The medical report of the murdered journalist was likewise deemed “unsatisfactory” by the court.
The supreme court’s decision was made after a five-person hearing presided over by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial. The court also included justices Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Muhammad Ali Mazhar in addition to the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Senior government representatives, including the interior secretary and additional attorney general (AAG) Aamir Rehman, appeared before the court.
The CJP questioned why the report of a fact-finding committee established following the journalist’s death has not yet been produced during the hearing.
According to the CJP, the interior ministry was supposed to submit the report last Friday but failed to do so. “Is it necessary to call the interior minister? The interior minister isn’t present “the CJP enquired.
The AAG then informed the court that he will provide the fact-finding committee’s report no later than tomorrow (Wednesday).
The CJP expressed his discontent with the AAG’s guarantee and claimed that the government, not the SC, should be wasting time on investigation-related issues.
“Journalist Arshad Sharif was well-known; why was he assassinated, and why abroad? Pakistan has access to and a lot of resources for conducting business abroad, “CJP made a comment.
He reminded the AAG that it had been some time since the fact-finding committee had arrived back in Pakistan from Kenya and questioned the delay in the release of the report.
“Why has the SC still not received the government commission’s final report? What is going on? “He queried.
When the court inquired, the AAG responded that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah was present in Faisalabad at the time the information was received.
He added the interior minister will analyze it before giving it to the top court since it might contain some “important” material.
The CJP then asked whether the interior minister needed to amend the report.
The CJP further questioned the lack of a criminal case being filed in Pakistan for the murder of Arshad Sharif.
“How can an investigation go place without a case being filed?”
Following an examination of the fact-finding committee’s report, the interior secretary announced that a decision to bring a case would be made.
If this is how to file a case legally, Justice Naqvi questioned.
How an investigation can be carried out without registering a case was another question Justice Ahsan raised.
The CJP then stated that the five-member bench was established because of how severe the circumstance was.
Given that they had been waiting for the report for 43 days, he commanded that it be submitted today in order for the fact-finding committee’s report to be heard the next day.
Later, the judge mandated that the murder FIR for Arshad Sharif be submitted by tonight and postponed the hearing till December.
CJP notices Arshad’s “brutal killing” on its own initiative.
The “brutal” death of the journalist in Kenya had been brought to the CJP’s attention earlier today.
The Interior Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Information Secretary, Director General of the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), Director General of the Intelligence Bureau, and President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists have all received notices from the CJP, according to a statement from the SC.
Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and a former prime minister, demanded a legal investigation into Sharif’s murder in a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan last week.
In Kenya, the journalist was fatally shot in October.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also requested the creation of a judicial panel to look into Sharif’s murder. The mother of the murdered journalist also made the same request.
In a statement announcing the suo motu proceedings, the apex court stated that “the journalism community in the country and the public at large are greatly disturbed and worried over the murder of the prominent journalist and are demanding the court’s inspection of the matter.”
PTI appreciates a suo motu notice.
Fawad Chaudhry, the leader of the PTI, applauded the suo motu notice and said that despite pressure, the nation expects judges to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and defend human rights.
ارشد شریف کی شہادت پر ازخود نوٹس لینا خوش آئند ہے سپریم کورٹ اور جج صاحبان سے عوام کی توقع ہے کہ وہ بنیادی انسانی حقوق کیلئے جو بھی دباؤ ہو اس کے باوجود آئین کی حاکمیت کیلئے کھڑے ہوں گے اور انسانی حقوق کی حفاظت کریں گے
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) December 6, 2022
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, leader of the Awami Muslim League (AML), praised the move and deemed the SC notice to be “commendable.”
He predicted that during the lawsuit, various “hidden faces” would emerge.
ارشد شریف کیس پر سپریم کورٹ کا ازخود نوٹس قابل تحسین ہے،اس کیس میں بہت سارےچھپے چہرے بےنقاب ہونگےقوم عمران خان پر حملے اور اعظم سواتی کیس میں بھی سپریم کورٹ کی طرف دیکھ رہی ہے۔13فراری پارٹیاں عمران خان کو نااہل کرانے کی بجائے الیکشن کی تیاری کریں۔روس سے تیل کا معاہدہ عام کیا جائے
— Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (@ShkhRasheed) December 6, 2022
The attack on Imran Khan and the Azam Swati case are among the issues that have the nation’s attention focused on the SC, he added.
On the evening of October 23, while being taken to Nairobi, Kenyan General Service Unit (GSU) officers shot and killed journalist Arshad Sharif.
Initially, the Kenyan police had asserted that the journalist had been fatally shot due to a case of mistaken identity.
To investigate the murder, the government assembled a two-person team that included FIA and IB representatives. The team has visited the UAE and Kenya.
Following the return of the investigation team from Kenya, the FIA had already informed a Senate committee that it was drafting a report.