CJP suggests Panama-like JIT to probe fake bank accounts case

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Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar suggested a joint investigation team like the one formed for Panama Papers should be constituted to probe the case of alleged fake bank accounts.

During Monday’s hearing, the head of Omni Group, Anwar Najeed failed to appear in court. The counsel for Omni Group, Shahid Hamid requested the apex court to grant three more days to respond to the orders.

However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar rejected the request, saying the owners of Omni Group should appear in the court, and that they will recommence the hearing at 8pm if need be.

The chief justice remarked that a contempt of court notice should be issued to the owners as they failed to appear in court despite orders.

The chief justice also asked the reason for the absence of Omni Group owners, saying Federal Investigation Agency sealed their bank accounts and confiscated their property, therefore, court should do the same.

Earlier, while hearing a suo motu case on fictitious transaction, the chief justice warned no one would be spared if they were found guilty of money laundering. The case pertained to transactions worth billions conducted through several mainstream banks via ‘benami’ accounts.

Former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are among the accused in the case.

Talpur’s counsel Farooq H Naik told the court that a lot of people were being defamed by being named in the probe by the FIA, and asked the bench to stop the publicity surrounding the case.