SC resents holdup in PM’s media adviser case

FIA’s Tehseen Shah expresses helplessness in tracing the fraudster.


Our Correspondent January 21, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


The Supreme Court on Friday warned Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Tehseen Anwar Shah of strict action if he failed to arrest the prime minister’s ‘former media coordinator’ for defrauding petitioners of Rs630 million.


Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Prime Minister House on Friday clarified that Khurram Rasool never served as media coordinator to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, adding that he had served as the media coordinator of the Pakistan Television Corporation Limited’s northern Pakistan branch. The spokesperson further said that when the prime minister came to know that Khurram Rasool was defrauding people by posing himself as the PM’s media coordinator, he directed the interior division to conduct an inquiry against the accused through the FIA.

During the previous hearing, the chief justice asked the DG to take action against the prime minister’s former media coordinator Khurram Rasool Butt, who has been absconding despite Islamabad High Court’s order for action against him.

Petitioner Pervaiz Hussain also filed contempt proceedings in the high court against the DG FIA for not arresting the accused.

Hussain approached the Supreme Court for compliance of the Islamabad High Court’s order through his counsel Rashid A Rizvi.

Appearing before the court, the DG FIA said the agency had tried its best to trace the accused but his whereabouts were still unknown.

Advocate Rizvi, however, said that the FIA had shown remarkable efficiency in arresting persons from Malaysia in the wake of a complaint from a ‘business concern’, which largely had shares of the Zardari family.

He informed the court that the accused was being ‘shielded’ by some influential office holders, who also blocked the FIA from arresting the accused in violation of the court order.

Rizvi said that Rasool received Rs630 million from his client on the pretext of getting his two companies – Sahara Gas (pvt) Limited and Pak Delta Enterprises (pvt) Limited – quota for Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and a licence for export of oil to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Rizvi said that Khurram Rasool and his brother Shahid Mehmood, along with Ghulam Ghose, managed to forge the signature of the petroleum and natural resources secretary on various agreements.

He added that the fraud came to the knowledge of the petitioners when they presented the documents for implementation of the deals to the relevant government departments.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Parco informed the petitioners that all the agreements presented were forged documents while no amount was received by them for or on behalf of the petitioners.

Rizvi pleaded that Khurram Rasool also allegedly got the support of officials of a bank in Islamabad where, he said, accounts were opened in the name of fake partnership without observing
the State Bank of Pakistan’s instructions in opening a new account.

The bench was apprised that the matter was brought to the notice of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who directed his principal secretary to write to the interior secretary for the initiation of an inquiry.

The inquiry found Rasool guilty and an FIR was registered against him, his brother Shahid Mehmood and other accomplices and officials of that bank.

Rizvi added that the FIA neither arrested any of the accused mentioned in the FIR nor did it conduct an investigation.

The proceedings will resume on January 24. (ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2012.

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