HCs restricted from annulling ongoing investigations, FIRs

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Wednesday ruled that high courts could not annul the ongoing investigations and First Information Reports (FIRs) already lodged.
The apex court heard a plea filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for annulling the case lodged against the officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
The SCP ruled that high courts were not authorised to annul the investigations and the FIRs as they could not invoke Article 561-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Article 561-A could be invoked only if the accused had filed a bail plea with the high court, the ruling stated.
The apex court remarked that the SCP could annul the high courts’ judgments and not the investigation. A high court, the ruling stated, could review the investigation and cases as the authority vested in public officers was a reflection of the confidence people had in them. The top court did not find any crime in the upgradation of CDA employees and the court imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on inspector FIA Irfan Barki for filing an unnecessary appeal. The fine would be, the ruling stated, reimbursed to the nominees in the case.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday hinted at making available the transcript or live-streaming of court proceeding, when he said the matter would be taken up in the full court meeting of all SC judges to forestall any chance of inaccuracies in court reporting. “We have considered this issue and will take it up in the full court,” observed the CJP who was heading a three-judge bench that had taken up a challenge to the August 2022 amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) by former premier Imran Khan. –Agencies