Shahzad Saleem challenges PAC’s authority to initiate inquiry, says Tayyaba Gul has ‘relevant forums available’
ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director General (DG) Major (retd) Shahzad Saleem approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday against the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) decision to summon him following Tayyaba Gul’s harassment allegations.
The National Assembly secretary, PAC Wing and others were made party to the petition filed by Saleem, which states that the notice issued by the PAC was beyond its jurisdiction and therefore, sought for it to be declared null and void by the court.
The petition further requests the court to issue a stay order on the PAC notice, contending that the woman already has applications pending before a Lahore accountability court and another related one before the Federal Shariat Court. The PAC has parallel action an exercise in excess of authority.
Shehzad Saleem further alleged that the PAC chairman “the possibility of the petition being filed for personal gains could not be ruled out” and argued that the woman in question has other “relevant forums available”. The PAC has gone beyond its powers to initiate this inquiry, the NAB official stated in the petition.
“A NAB inquiry against the PAC chairman is already pending,” said Saleem, alleging that “it was also possible that the chairman wanted to take revenge or gain some advantage by summoning [NAB officials] in this way”.
He also added that the chairman’s “conduct has been that he boasts of his disloyalty to the very party through which he was elected”.
It is pertinent to note that Gul had alleged before the PAC that NAB Director General Shahzad Saleem along with others installed cameras in a room at the bureau’s Lahore Office, stripped her naked and made videos that were later shown to her husband to mentally torture him, when he was in custody in ‘fake’ cases.
“I was stripped naked and videos were made,” Gull sobbed. Her throat felt swollen and she stuttered before adding: “I was taken to a room, cameras were installed, officials conducted frisking, stripped me naked, laughed at me and my videos were made.”
When asked by the PAC chairman who did it, Gul named NAB DG Shahzad Saleem, Kashif Masroor, Imran Dogar and several others. Despite a court order, she said, her medical test was not conducted, adding that her signatures were taken on a blank paper, the content of which later stated that she did not want medical examination.
The PAC chairman, who ensured that incumbent NAB Chairman Zahir Shah stayed in the meeting while Gul recorded her statement, ordered suspension of officials named in her statement until an inquiry was completed. He directed Shah to collect evidence and lodge first information reports (FIRs) as such a brutality and criminality couldn’t be tolerated.
In the first major reshuffle in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) since the PML-N came to power on April 11, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had re-appointed Major (retd) Shahzad Saleem as Director General Lahore, replacing incumbent Jamil Ahmad.
Courtesy : Express Tribune