The court of Special Judge Central on Monday issued warrants for the arrest of Ahmed Faiz who is accused of corruption while arranging accommodation for Hajj pilgrims last year on behalf of the religious affairs ministry.
Judge Ikhlaq Ahmed put off the hearing in the Hajj scam case till July 19 and directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest Faiz and produce him in the court on the next date of hearing.
The FIA has accused Faiz of being former Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Syed Kazmi’s frontman and for obtaining Rs180 million as kickback for arranging the residences for the pilgrims in Makkah.
The court could not proceed against the two arrested accused – Kazmi and former additional secretary Raja Aftabul Islam – after it was informed that the main accused in the case, Director General Hajj Rao Shakeel, was in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Lahore for another corruption case.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of accused Aftabul Islam told the court that the FIA should be directed not to handcuff his client who has been suffering from uric acid.
The court asked the lawyers of the two accused to produce any law about handcuffing or not handcuffing the accused.
The investigators have submitted the complete investigation report in the case and the court is yet to formally indict the accused.
The process could not be completed in the absence of Rao Shakeel.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.