SHC annoyed over FIA, Sindh Police’s ‘false stories’ in missing persons’ cases

FIA and police do nothing, Sindh IGP should see his officers' performance, the bench remarked

Our Correspondent April 11, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) expressed annoyance with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Sindh Police on Wednesday over its poor performance pertaining to the recovery of more than 70 missing persons. The court sought a report from FIA director-general and Sindh Inspector-General of Police (IGP) by May 8.

''Police and FIA do nothing. We will call the Sindh IGP so that he can see his police officers' performance,'' remarked the bench. ''The concern is that even the Sindh IGP does not fulfil his duty," observed Justice Phulpoto, adding that families of missing persons were worried owing to the disappearance of their loved ones, but no one was aware of it.

The bench also expressed annoyance with DSP Naeem. ''A citizen Nadeem is missing for the past four years, but DSP Naeem has not provided the National Identity Card (NIC) of the missing person to FIA yet.''

The Investigation Officer (IO) of the case told the court that FIA had only provided documents regarding the travel history of another missing citizen, Faheemul Islam, and added that the computer gives data by the use of a single finger but FIA does not even give that on time. Justice Phulpoto remarked, ''FIA does nothing; the court is disappointed with FIA."

Justice KK Agha remarked that it seemed to be an issue of lack of coordination between the police and FIA. ''The police and FIA only tell stories,'' Justice Agha remarked.

The court sought a detailed report from the FIA DG and Sindh IGP by the next hearing and also sought a report from the in-charge of centres of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FIA, Rangers and Sindh Police by May 8.

Customs fraud

The SHC sought a report on Wednesday from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by April 17 regarding the investigation initiated against a Korean company involved in the corruption of Rs417 million.

A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Ahmed Ali Sheikh and comprising Justice Omar Sial, was hearing the bail plea filed by the co-accused Ahmed Ghazal related to the fraud committed by the foreign companies in the name of customs duty and sales tax. The IO Javed Lashari informed the court that the NAB has started an investigation against the Korean company.

The IO told the court that the Korean company conspired with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), federal board of investment and others, and committed corruption worth Rs417m. Court issued a call-up notice to the company's director but he has sought extension of 20 days to record his statement. NAB's prosecutor maintained that investigations against this Korean company were completed and a reference draft had also been sent to the headquarters.

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CJ Ahmed Ali Sheikh expressed annoyance over the absence of the case officer and wondered what happened to the NAB officials on the day of hearing. "Should the court issue non-bailable arrest warrants for NAB officials?"

NICL scandal

The same bench adjourned the hearing of the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scandal case on Wednesday due to the absence of accused Suleman Lalani. The court was hearing the case registered against Jahangir Siddiqui and Co. Ltd Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Suleman Lalani and others. The petitioner's counsel said that Lalani was sick, therefore he couldn't appear in court. The CJ, expressing annoyance over the absence of accused, remarked that people get sick whenever the hearing date is scheduled - some suffer heartaches, others headaches.

The court addressing the accused's counsel, asked which disease the accused was suffering from, and ordered that he must give in writing  which hospital he has been admitted so that the court could summon the doctors and director of the hospital.

According to NAB officials, call-up notices had been issued to Lalani as part of the investigation related to Rs2b investment made by Jahangir Siddiqui and Co Ltd in NICL in 2009.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2019.

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