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Monday July 22, 2024

Quashing FIRs: PHC makes KP CS party to corruption case against ex-lawmakers

By Amjad Safi
July 11, 2024
The Peshawar High Court building. — PHC website/File
The Peshawar High Court building. — PHC website/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday made Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary a party and extended the stay in a petition seeking quashment of first information reports (FIRs) registered by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) against the ex-lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf over the misuse of power and corrupt practices.

A two-member bench of the PHC comprising Justice Syed Arshad Ali and Justice Dr Khurshid Iqbal while hearing the petition asked the petitioners’ former deputy speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mehmood Jan, former cabinet members Kamran Bangash, Taimur Salim Jhagra and Ishtiaq Urmar to approach the provincial government to quash the FIR.

Justice Syed Arshad Ali observed during the hearing: “If the Anti-Corruption Department has lodged cases against the petitioners, why do they want the court to scrap them? They should go to the provincial government for that as now they have their own government.”

The court after the arguments from the petitioners’ counsels Ali Gohar Durrani and Shakil Gilani, made KP CS respondent, extended the stay and adjourned the hearing in the case.Additional Advocate General Inam Yousafzai and Fazal-e-Maula represented the provincial government.

Earlier, the counsels for petitioners informed the court that cases were registered against their clients on a political basis on mala fide intention after the May 9 incidents.They pleaded that the petitioners had approached the provincial government time and again to quash the FIRs against them but in vain as they had lost elections and were now not part of the government.

It may be mentioned that the ACE registered FIRs against seven former ex-MPAs of PTI over the alleged misuse of power and corrupt practices.Former deputy speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mehmood Jan, former cabinet members Kamran Bangash, Taimur Saleem and Ishtiaq Urmar were booked under Section 409 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, according to the FIR registered by the ACE police station here.

The FIR read that the ACE Peshawar received complaints against the accused regarding the misuse of power, embezzlement of funds, illegal recruitment, and possession of illegal assets.The petitioners had rejected the charges against them and said the registration of FIRs against them were politically motivated.