District and Sessions Judge Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmed dismissed on Monday bail petitions of two of the accused involved in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam.
Rizwan Ali Bhatti and Khalil Ahmed, branch managers of Allied Bank Limited, had filed post-arrest bails contending that they were not beneficiaries of the scam.
The judge also dismissed a contempt of court petition against Additional Director-General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Zafar Qureshi for intervening in court proceedings.
On Monday, the counsel of the accused took the stand that no incriminating evidence has been collected by the investigating officer of the case to establish mens rea (intent) or actus reus (action) against the petitioners. He contended that the court had registered the case without initiating an inquiry.
A petition of contempt of court was also filed against Qureshi for intervening in court matters by sending a letter during case proceedings.
The judge reserved the decision at first and then dismissed both the bail petitions as well as the contempt of court petition.
Meanwhile a judicial commission, constituted to determine political interference in the investigation of the NICL scam, recorded journalists’ statements who had reported Zafar Qureshi’s suspension after the Supreme Court reinstated him.
Two journalists working for English dailies submitted affidavits to commission chief Justice Ghulam Rabbani in his chamber. They stated that they stand by their stories and assured the commission of their full cooperation in the future.
(with additional reporting by our correspondent in islamabad)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.