Court: SC issues notices to FIA for harassing Establishment’s former secretary involved in Hajj corruption scam

ISLAMABAD: A three member Supreme Court bench on Friday issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency FIA for harassing Establishment Division’s former secretary Ismail Qureshi involved in Hajj corruption case.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was hearing an application filed by Ismail Qureshi contending that FIA was illegally harassing him.

FIA’s Director Hussain Asghar, who is investigating the Hajj corruption scam, told the court that appointment of former Director General Hajj Rao Shakeel Ahmed was against the rules and the existing law.

He said Rao Shakeel did not qualify for the post in any manner. To a court query, he said fulfilling three requirements for the post of Hajj Director General were mandatory, whereas Rao Shakeel did not qualify a single one.

Wasim Sajjad, counsel for Ismail Qureshi, told the court that his client, being secretary Establishment, had to sent three names to the Prime Minister for the post of Hajj Director General and one had to be approved by the premier.

He said Prime Minister is the competent authority for the appointment of Hajj Director General. He said Rao Shakeel was not appointed by the Establishment secretary. The chief justice noted that the concerned officer is also share holder in the illegal acts.

He said high court had dismissed the application of a joint secretary in this regard. He said when Rao Shakeel was appointed, his curriculum vitae was before the eyes of the Establishment secretary.

The chief justice noted that the court order about not arresting Ismail Qureshi should not affect or influence the FIA investigation.

Hussain Asghar stated that the FIR for illegal appointment of Zain Sukhaira was also registered against Ismail Qureshi. Wasim Sajjad stated that the facts and reasons which led to protection of Ismail Qureshi from arrest were still existed. The court then said this matter will be discussed on March 20 and adjourned the hearing till that.