Shrine Land Case – Nawaz in trouble again – SC is likely to form JIT
On Tuesday, the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the Supreme Court in connection to the shrine case dating back to 1985.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar hinted at constituting a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe a case concerning allotment of Auqaf property, attached to the shrine of Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Masud Ganj Shakar in Pakpattan.
Nawaz was the chief minister of Punjab province when the land in question was transferred.
The case involves illegal allotment of Auqaf Department’s land in Pakpattan to an individual, Dewan Ghulam Qutab, in violation of a Lahore High Court order.
In the hearing, the Chief Justice suggested forming a JIT to probe the matter. Nawaz, however, remarked that his experience with JITs had not particularly been pleasant.
The CJP observed that the case is not a small matter. It involves 14,000-kanal land. He asked the former prime minister to suggest how he wanted the matter to be probed.
CJP asked Nawaz whether he wanted the National Accountability Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency or a JIT to investigate the case.
The chief justice gave the former premier one week to decide which institution should conduct the probe.
Justice Nisar further remarked that he wanted the two-time chief minister and three-time prime minister’s name cleared.
Nawaz, in his reply, requested the court to discharge the notice issued to him in the interest of justice.
He contended that the case was a very old matter, dating back 33 years, and therefore he did not recall having passed any such order.
He said something appeared to have gone wrong at the lower levels of the bureaucracy.
Nawaz told the bench that there was no order on record that he had signed in connection with the allegations. However, the court adjourned the hearing for a week
Nawaz Sharif after consultation with his legal team decided to appear before the Apex Court to present his point of view as to the withdrawal of the notification relating to the return of land to the Shrine management.
In 2015, the former chief justice Nasirul Mulk had taken a suo moto notice over the illegal allotment of the shrine land to individuals in 1985 in violation of the LHC order.
The withdrawal of the notification had led to the construction of shops on the land which in fact, was a property of the Shrine.
Source: The Nation