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SC issues written order in ex-ISI chief case..

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In its written order on a petition seeking action against a number of government officials including a former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the apex court has said the allegations leveled by the petitioner are of “extremely serious nature” and can damage key institutions.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa on November 8 disposed of an application filed by Moeez Ahmed Khan, the owner of TopCity Housing Society.

The applicant had alleged that former ISI director-general Lt Gen Faiz Hameed had misused his office, and on his directions crimes were committed against the applicant and his family.

In its three-page written order, authored by Justice Isa, the bench said: “the allegations are of an extremely serious nature, and if true, undoubtedly would undermine the reputation of the federal government, the armed forces, the ISI and Pakistan Rangers, therefore, they cannot be left unattended.”

The court, however, did not start proceedings on the basis of the application that sought to invoke the Supreme Court’s original powers under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. It noted that the nature of a case filed under Article 184(3) was different from other cases, for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution exercises original power, and whenever original power is exercised it must be done cautiously. Secondly, where there exists other forum(s) to attend to the same it is best that they first do so.”

“Thirdly, against the decision of a high court, appeals may come before this court under Article 185 of the Constitution. Fourthly, direct intervention by this court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution may adversely affect the rights of others.”

The bench noted that the applicant apprehends that his complaint/grievance would not be entertained by the Ministry of Defence, because the respondents had held senior positions in the armed forces.

“However, the learned Additional Attorney-General for Pakistan (AAG) has assured us that the complaint/grievance will be given due consideration, and we have no reason to doubt this statement made on behalf of the Government of Pakistan.

“Therefore, the apprehension of the applicant is misplaced. Accordingly, if the applicant submits a complaint/grievance to the Ministry of Defence of the Government of Pakistan, it shall be dealt with in accordance with law,” it said.

Citing the AAG, the court noted that a number of remedies were available to the applicant, including approaching the Ministry of Defence as the complaint/grievance pertains to a period when the said respondents were serving officers in the armed forces.

He could also file a criminal case against the respondents, including one for malicious prosecution. He could file a suit for damages, or to do all these. “The learned AAG also stated that if a complaint is addressed to the Ministry of Defence of the Government of Pakistan it will be given due consideration.”

The court noted that the applicant will also be at liberty to avail any other legal remedies, in accordance with law as it disposed of the application.

The application

The applicant had alleged that personnel of the ISI and the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) raided his residence and business offices; detained him and his family members; and robbed him and his family members of their private and business properties.

He had also accused the respondents of compelling him to transfer his business–Dynast Associate/TopCity Housing Scheme–into his nominees’ names. They also allegedly had false cases registered against him, his family and employees, he said.

Respondent No 1 in the application was the Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Defence; respondents No 2 to No 4 were named officers of the armed forces. These respondents and respondent No 5 were, at the relevant time, working in the ISI. Respondent No 6 were “100 unknown persons”.

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