Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Director General Federal Investigation Agency to associate himself with a team, investigating National Insurance Corporation Company Limited (NICL) scam and take steps for registration of cases.A three-Judge bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ghulam Rabbani on a suo motu case, taken on suspension issue of additional director general FIA Zafar Ahmed Qureshi, also directed the DG FIA to inquire from Inspector General Police Punjab about registration of any complaint about a bomb hoax of August 13 in FIA building Lahore and apprise it on Wednesday.The bench in its order said that the rumour about planting a bomb inside FIA building was spread intentionally to prevent entry of Zafar Ahmed Qureshi, who was asked by the apex Court on August 8 order to assume charge of his duties immediately after setting aside his suspension order of July 2.“In such like situation, it was the duty of DG FIA to register a case under Section 505 of PPC,” the bench observed. He was directed to ensure that action was duly intended against the responsible.The bench also cancelled casual leaves of team members of Qureshi and ordered DG FIA to produce them before it on Wednesday and ensure that they would not be pressurized or threatened from any quarters.The bench also observed that hurdles for Qureshi in assumption of charge of duty were created intentionally.“We are of the opinion that Secretary Interior, DG FIA, director Lahore and assistant director Lahore, are, prima facie, responsible for violating Supreme Court orders of August 8,” the bench added.The bench also issued notice to Director FIA Lahore to appear on Wednesday over the issue of reported resistance against Qureshi.At the outset of proceedings, Zafar Qureshi apprised the bench that he received the Court’s order on August 9 and wrote a set of letters to the DG FIA but could not get any response. He said that he had asked for deputing his former four-member team comprising Javed Hussain Shah, Mohammad Ahmed, Khalid Anees and Sarwar and arrangement of a meeting at National Police Foundation but it was not allowed.He said that he was informed by a source that two among these officials including Javed Hussain Shah and Sarwar had been sent on casual leaves while the files of NICL were also taken away form them. Zafar said that on night of August 12 he was informed by the assistant director FIA Lahore Khawaja Hamad that a bomb was planted in FIA building, therefore, he should not visit it. While the next morning, the building was locked after claim of bomb planting, with few officials inside and barring his entry, he added. Expressing annoyance, the Chief Justice told Secretary Interior Khawaja Siddique Akbar that they had ordered the Secretary Establishment to proceed against him for similar tactics.Reminding him, the Chief Justice, told him that contempt of proceedings were still pending against him.Defending his position, the Secretary Interior said that he had responded quickly to Qureshi’s requests and the fact was appreciated by the FIA official himself in his written letter.

He expressed his ignorance about leaves granted to FIA officials and said it was a routine matter, looked after by the concerned Director Lahore.To bench’s query he replied that he received the information about a bomb on August 13 through an SMS and on that date, he did not attend office due to his indisposition. The Chief Justice asked him that whether he had checked the authenticity of the claim about planting a bomb, as hoax was a cognizable offence under Section 505 PPC leading to seven years sentence.“Go and register a case against assistant director Khawaja Hamad and produce him on Wednesday,” he added.He said that assistant director could not lock the FIA building as it was a declared police station. Justice Amir Hani Muslim told the Secretary that he could not convey message about his bad health with his high-ups verbally as such things were regulated through rules.He remarked “It is clearly interfering into Court’s orders and nobody will be exonerated on grounds of being ignorant. It is something unusual and uncommon.” Justice Ghulam Rabbani, displeased with DG’s response to a set of questions, said that he was head of agency and did not know anything.“To every query you are repeatedly saying that you will inquire from Director Lahore, what kind of DG you are!” he added. To a query, the Secretary Interior replied that his meeting with Qureshi was cancelled as he was busy with Minister’s address to the National Assembly.Further hearing was adjourned for Wednesday and the Chief Justice said that they would issue notices to concerned authorities after hearing them.


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