Karachi: Corruption case FIA restrained from arresting minister
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday restrained the Federal Investigation Agency from arresting and charge-sheeting Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and federal minister, in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam case unless reasonable material against him was made available on record. A division bench headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah disposed of the federal minister’s petition against his involvement in the scam with the direction. The federal minister, represented by Advocate Rasheed A. Razvi, impleaded the interior secretary, FIA director-general, regional director and the deputy director of the FIA’s crime circle, Karachi, as respondents. His counsel submitted that the petitioner was a renowned political figure of the country and Sajjadanashin (caretaker) of a shrine, DargahGhous–ul–Haq HazratMakhdoomSarwarNooh, at Hala and had millions of followers.
He stated that Mr Fahim had an unblemished political background and was falsely and with mala fide intentions involved by FIA officials in the FIR (21/2010) registered at the commercial bank circle on Nov 22, 2010.
The counsel submitted that his client was neither named in the FIR nor was he mentioned as an accused in the charge-sheet filed in the trial court.
He stated that the petitioner was being charged with appointing then NICL chief Ayaz Khan Niazi and buying 10 acres in Korangi at exorbitant prices, thus causing colossal losses to the national exchequer.
Advocate Razvi submitted that the rules were followed by the ministry of commerce, and two other names besides Ayaz Khan Niazi were recommended for appointment as NICL chairman and the appointment was made by the prime minister after considering the recommendations by the relevant authority.
He submitted that the petitioner and family members had obtained a loan from a private bank and to repay the outstanding amount, a mortgaged property in DHA Phase VI was sold to Zafar Saleem, also a co-accused in the NICL scam, for Rs72.5 million.
The counsel said his client had received a partial payment of Rs41 million from Zafar Saleem, but the execution of the property sale could not be fulfilled due to his death in an air crash and the received amount was returned to his legal heirs through cheques. He submitted that a lawsuit in respect of such a property was disposed of by the court with the parties’ consent.
According to the FIA, Rs900 million was transferred to a joint account of Khalid Anwar Khan and Khawaja Akbar Butt, though the real owner of the amount was Zafar Saleem, a former national athlete and director-general of the Sindh Workers’ Welfare Board, who was killed in a plane crash on July 28, 2010.
The counsel submitted that FIA officials were harassing and humiliating the petitioner.
Apprehending the arrest of his client, the counsel asked the court to direct the respondents not to harass, humiliate and arrest the petitioner.