KARACHI: The federal investigation agency withdrew on Wednesday its review applications against the protective bail granted to former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani by the special federal anti-corruption court.
Gilani and former commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim are facing a dozen inquiries for ‘granting’ unauthorised trade subsidies worth billions of rupees in the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to unauthorised companies. The inquiries also contain the allegations of illegal transfer of the misappropriated money abroad.
The ex-PM had, however, obtained protective bail from the special anti-corruption court that had earlier issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest for failing to appear in court despite notices, against the surety of Rs100,000 in each of the 12 cases.
Challenging this order before the high court, the FIA investigation officers had on Tuesday filed criminal review applications against the bail order passed by the special federal anti-corruption court. They argued that the court acted beyond its jurisdictions by granting pre-arrest bail to the ex-PM, as the FIA had sufficient evidence available to establish his role with the commission of the offence. In the applications, the IOs had pleaded the court to suspend the bail order of the federal anti-corruption court.
On Wednesday, the deputy attorney general Aslam Butt submitted that the review applications have been filed by the federal investigating agency without seeking prior permission from the federal government. The FIA wants to withdraw the applications, he said, asking the court allow him take back the pleas.
Justice Amir Raza Naqvi, who headed the single bench, dismissed the review applications as withdrawn by the deputy attorney general.
Meanwhile, the SHC restrained the FIA authorities from arresting the Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, in connection with the TDAP subsidies scam and money laundering till July 17.
Headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, the division bench, also ordered the investigation officer to disclose the total number of inquiries against the minister by the next date of hearing.
The FIA lodged 12 FIRs under Section read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 read with Section 3 and 4 of the Money Laundering Act-VII 2010 at its crime circle police station.
His lawyer, Farooq H Naek argued that initially in the FIRs the petitioner was not nominated, but the FIA implicated him in the final charge sheet. All the FIRs are the offshoot of inquiry No. 38/2012 initiated to investigate the allegations of huge government funds fraudulently misappropriated under the garb of 25 per cent freight subsidy announced by the commerce ministry under the Trade Policy.
Naek further submitted that, in a constitutional petition, the SHC had already granted protective bail to the former federal minister on June 25, which is valid till July 10. The petitioner will surrender before the trial court for further proceedings today [Thursday], the lawyer informed.
The lawyer claimed that the former federal minister is innocent. But, he has been implicated due to political victimisation.
After hearing the preliminary arguments, the two judges issued notices to the interior secretary, the federal investigation agency’s director-general, its crimes circle director and the deputy attorney general for July 17.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ