IHC bars SECP from taking action against its official

ISLAMABAD : Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Saturday remarked that the very conduct of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) showed that it wasn’t an independent organization. The court was hearing a case pertaining to the show-cause notice issued to SECP Additional Director Arsalan Zafar in connection with the release of documents related to CPEC Authority Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa and his family, who is also a special assistant to the prime minister. During the proceedings, the IHC barred the SECP from taking any action against Arsalan Zafar till the next hearing which is scheduled for October 12 but directed him to submit his reply to the show-cause notice. However, the court also issued a notice to the SECP, directing the regulatory body to submit a detailed reply which must explain why all the documents are not available on its website.

The regulator has also been asked to share how many inquiries have been conducted during the past five years over the leaked documents.  “Why the SECP is taking interest in this case only,” Chief Justice Minallah asked the regulator’s counsel and observed that a non-issue had been turned into an issue. “You have to tell so many things. These issues are of public interest,” observed the chief justice who added that accountability was possible only when things were shared with the public.

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