KARACHI: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued a notification wherein the investigating officers are given sweeping discretionary powers to raid and search any premise without any search warrant, which is optional.
It also allows the officer to confiscate assets, documents, and devices including laptops and mobiles from the raided site. Such powers are granted through SRO 713 (I) / 2019 called the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Search and Seizure) Rules, 2019 as notified by SECP on July 01, 2019.
The notification also permits the investigation officer to break glasses and locks of vehicles, walls, almirahs and windows, if needed. Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) is of the view that such measures are shaking the confidence of the business and industrial community. The investigations should not be done in coercive manner while no businessman should be harassed in any way unless there are sufficient evidence of substantial violation as a person is innocent until proven guilty.
If the corporate sector is made to suffer such intense harassments, how will the small entities be able to do business with peace of mind in the country? Therefore, President KCCI Junaid Makda has urged the Prime minister to withdraw this notification to avoid any misuse of powers and to promote a business friendly atmosphere in the country.