FIA files criminal case against SECP chief for record tampering

Advises interior ministry to put his name on ECL


Qadeer Tanoli July 11, 2017
SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the directives of Supreme Court lodged an FIR on Monday against Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Zafar Hijazi for tampering the record of the Sharif family’s companies.

The FIR was registered at FIA’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in Islamabad, under Sections 466 and 471 of PPC read with 5(2)47, the Prevention of Corruption Act. Under these sections, the accused may face a jail term of up to seven years.

The FIA endorsed allegations levelled by head of JIT Wajid Zia and advised the interior ministry to put his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

FIA finds SECP chief guilty of tampering with record of Sharifs’ companies

The agency also recommended filing an FIR against Hijazi in its report which was submitted before the apex court.

The FIA report states: “From statements of officers concerned of the SECP, it is safely concluded that the Chairman of SECP Zafarul Haq Hijazi passed an illegal order by pressing his subordinates Maheen Fatima, the then director, enforcement, Ali Azeem Ikram, the executive director of the SECP, to close investigation in back dates. The probe was closed in June last year and it was in connection with Chaudhry Sugar Mills (Private) Limited (CSML)

The FIA maintained that the record obtained from the JIT regarding the closure of investigation was scrutinised and it was found that the probe under Section 263 of the Companies Ordinance of 1984 against CSML was closed mala fide, without ascertaining facts via a false note.

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Based on these findings, the FIA team stated that there was ample evidence that Hijazi was guilty of criminal misconduct, misuse of his official authority for passing illegal order and exerting pressure on his subordinates for forging and falsifying official record in violation of the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Act of 1997.

Syed Abid Hussain, who had the additional charge of Corporate Supervision Department of the SECP on January 20 in 2016, besides heading the professional department of the entity, stated before the inquiry committee that he was also threatened by Hijazi.

Referring to a meeting which was participated by Tahir Mehmood, Ali Azeem, Maheen and Abid Hussain and which was held on June 21, 2017, Hussain said the chairman SECP asked him to change his statement vouchsafed earlier before the JIT.

He said Hijazi asked him to prepare another statement stating that the JIT had pressed him (Hussain) to go against the SECP chairman. However, according to Hussain’s statement, he said that he did not change his statement.

Panamagate: SC orders FIA to probe tampering allegations against SECP

He maintained that the chairman of SECP responded by saying: “I’II fix all of you … I’II make sure that you are all behind bars.”

He said when the meeting was over, he felt threatened because of the chairman’s strong connections with government officials.

Another official of the SECP, Ali Azeem Ikram stated before the inquiry team that during a meeting in June last year, the chairman had instructed him to close the investigation into the CSML on the note sheet with ‘an appropriate date’.

 

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