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January 20, 2018

IHC questions status of witnesses in Hijazi case

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January 20, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here on Friday while hearing in the two applications of suspended SECP Chairman Zafarul Haq Hijazi asked deputy attorney general (DAG) that why the prosecution cited Maheen Fatima and Ali Azeem on the list of prosecution witnesses instead of defendants who allegedly tempered with the record of Chaudhary Sugar Mills on the oral directions of Hijazi.

IHC directed the DAG to note down this question and submit reply after petitioner's counsel complete their arguments. Legal counsel for Hijazi partially completed his arguments in this matter. Hijazi's counsel argued that his client did not order closing of inquiry against Chaudhry Sugar Mills. Further, there exists no documentary evidence to establish that he ordered his subordinates to close the file.

Supreme Court (SC) while hearing in Panama case on June 19 had directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to register an FIR against Hijazi for closing an enquiry pending against Chaudhry Sugar Mills owned by Sharif family in back dates.

Consequently, FIA registered an FIR against Hijazi under sections 466, 471 of Pakistan Penal Code and section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947. In the FIR, it was alleged that Hijazi being SECP chairman, conducted criminal misconduct by misusing his official authority and exerting pressure on his subordinates Maheen Fatima and Ali Azeem for forgery and falsification of the official record.

The FIA submitted challan on September 11 and charges were framed against Hijazi on October 27. Hijazi filed two applications before the IHC, seeking quashment of FIR and challenging dismissal of his 249-A application by the trial court. Further hearing in this matter will be on February 22.

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