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LAHORE: A special court (offences in bank) on Saturday issued a show cause notice to Director Zone-I Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Punjab for not submitting challan in the money laundering and sugar scam inquiry against Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz.

The court asked the director, Dr Rizwan Ahmad, to appear before the court on December 16 and explain as to why he failed to submit the challan on first court’s call and why the prosecutors did not appear before the court later on.

The court also extended the pre-arrest bail of Shehbaz and Hamza till the next hearing.

Earlier, a prosecutor told the court that the investigation report was complete but will be submitted before the judge special court (Central-I). The FIA previously had raised an objection to the jurisdiction of the special court for banking offences to take up the matter.

The court took exception to the prosecutor’s statement and observed that the act of the FIA was a violation of the court’s previous order.

The court further observed that the court was exercising its restraint and not issuing a contempt notice to the prosecution team.

The court adjourned the hearing for a short break as the prosecutor said the investigation report under section 173 CrPC will be submitted if the file was kept in wait for a while.

However, no one appeared on behalf of the FIA when the judge resumed hearing again.

The court; therefore, issued show cause notice to Director Zone-1 FIA Punjab and said in his written order: “The file has been taken up again but after some wait neither anyone has appeared on behalf of the prosecution nor a report under section 173 of CrPC has been submitted. Further, more no reason for non submission of challan has been furnished also”.

Meanwhile, the special court (Central-I) also rejected the request of the FIA to let it submit the investigation report before the court and observed that the petitions of the suspects for pre-arrest bail were pending before the special court for offences in bank.

The court remarked that this court could not receive the investigation report that should be filed before the same court hearing the bail petitions in the FIRs.

The court noted that the duty judge of the court (offences in bank) had directed the prosecutor to submit the report subject to decision on the objection regarding the jurisdiction decided by the same court.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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