LAHORE, June 11: Chief Justice Iftikhar Husain Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court has ordered an inquiry into the disappearance of pages from a court file that contained a stay order in favour of Farrukh Karamat, a son of former chief of army staff Gen Jahangir Karamat, in a bank fraud case.

A deputy registrar has been asked to conduct the inquiry and submit a report fixing responsibility within seven days.

The stay order in favour of Farrukh Karamat, manager of the Emirates Bank in 2000 when the embezzlement of about Rs300 million was found, was granted by a division bench comprising Justice Farrukh Latif and Justice Sadar Mohammad Aslam against the proceedings of a reference against him.

Farrukh, the head of the bank’s corporate branch, Aali Shafi and traders Arif Moaz Shah and his brother Asif Moaz Shah, Naeemuddin Qamar Sahaf, Shahiduddin Jauhar Sahaf and Zeeshan Mustafa were allegedly found guilty and the Civil Lines police registered two FIRs against them on the allegation that all connived in advancing a loan of Rs300 million to traders under forged guarantees of the ABN Amro and the United banks.

According to a writ petition moved by Aali Shafi, who was also allowed a stay order by the LHC division bench on Thursday, the case was sent to the special banking court which acquitted Farrukh Karamat and Aali Shafi through an order on Nov 29, 2001, since no evidence and material was available against them.

However, the National Accountability Bureau entered the fray without a legal justification and served on both Farrukh Karamat and Aali Shafi notices of show cause in the fraud case. The NAB later filed references against them with an accountability court starting proceedings. The two moved the Lahore High Court challenging the NAB move besides pleading that the proceedings should be quashed. Advocates Wasim Sajjad and Ali Hasan Sajjad pleaded on behalf of Aali Shafi that the reference suffered from a double jeopardy as no one could be retried in one offence. The counsel stated that Aali Shafi could not be proceeded against in the reference they contained similar charges in which he had already been acquitted by the banking court. The LHC issued a stay order in favour of Farrukh Karamat which was found missing when the court resumed hearing of the writ petition on June 9. The same day the court also issued a similar stay order in favour of Aali Shafi through which the NAB was restrained from proceedings against him.

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