The Lahore High Court on Monday ordered the city police to arrest the chief executive officer of a visa consultancy firm and produce him before the court on September 24.
The court had directed police, at the last hearing, to arrest Asim Malik, the Future Concerns CEO.
On Monday, DIG (Operations) Rai Tahir told the court that police had been unable to locate Malik. Tahir said a team had been constituted at the court’s orders, which was conducting raids to arrest Malik.
Malik’s counsel submitted that his client was unable to appear before the court on Monday since he was in Islamabad, where he has challenged the warrants issued for his arrest by the LHC, before the Supreme Court. The judge remarked that in case Malik does not get relief from the Supreme Court, he must be arrested by September 24.
Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi also expressed resentment on the absence of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials, whom he had directed to appear on Monday. Institutions don’t abide by court orders, he said, adding rhetorically, “Should we lock the courtrooms since our orders are not followed?”
At the last hearing, Malik’s counsel had said his client could not appear before the court because his life was in danger. The counsel had requested the court to exempt his client from appearing in person. Justice Naqvi had turned down his request and observed that the respondent had apparently committed contempt of court by not appearing before the court. The judge had then issued a contempt notice and non-bailable arrest warrant for the respondent and directed the Operations DIG to produce Malik in court.
The court had also directed the FIA to put Malik’s name on the exit control list (ECL).
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2012.
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