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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday approached the Supreme Court to seek a directive for establishment of a high-powered medical board to determine the veracity of claims that health of two accused in the fake accounts case, Khawaja Anvar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed, was deteriorating fast or not.

Anvar Majeed, the chairman of the Omni Group of Companies, and Ghani Majeed were arrested by FIA on the premises of the Supreme Court on Aug 15 and are still under detention for their alleged involvement in the Rs35 billion fake accounts case.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, which is seized with the alleged money laundering case, will resume hearing on Monday.

On Sept 6, the apex court appointed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe allegations that the fake accounts were used for laundering money and that the case also involved former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur as accused.

Board to find out if claims by accused about declining health are true or not

Headed by Ahsan Sadiq, an additional director general at the FIA, the JIT will also comprise Imran Latif Minhas, a commissioner at the Regional Tax Office, Islamabad; Majid Hussain, a joint director at the State Bank of Pakistan; Noman Aslam, a director at the National Accountability Bureau; Mohammad Afzal, a director at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan; and Brigadier Shahid Parvez of the Inter-Services Intelligence.

Through a report, the FIA informed the Supreme Court that the JIT had set up its secretariat in Karachi and even commenced its work on Sept 12.

The Supreme Court has asked the JIT to identify persons implicated in the case and collect material evidence to ensure that if wrongdoing was committed all those involved are prosecuted.

The JIT will enjoy all the powers relating to inquiries and investigations, including those available in the Code of Criminal Procedure, National Accountability Ordinance, Federal Investigation Agency Act 1974, and anti-corruption laws.

In its application filed on Friday, the FIA explained that Anvar Majeed and Ghani Majeed were sent to judicial lock-up after their arrest on Aug 28.

However, due to his “fast deteriorating health” Anvar Majeed was admitted to the National Institute of Cardio-Vascular Diseases whereas Ghani Majeed was admitted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Karachi, due to abdominal pain and high blood pressure.

The Supreme Court had earlier rejected a similar application moved by senior counsel Shahid Hamid, who was representing Ghani Majeed. The counsel had claimed that the health of his client was bad because his rectum had been bleeding since Aug 19. He had quoted doctors as saying his client needed immediate medical attention. Subsequently, Ghani Majeed was hospitalised and his condition was stabilised after much efforts. Mr Hamid also wondered why a 45-year-old man was suffering from bleeding of the rectum.

The application highlighted that the JPMC director through a letter on Sept 6 had requested the setting up of a board of doctors, but the Sindh health department through its Sept 11 letter had declined the request and advised that the doctor who was treating the patient could decide his course of treatment.

In all fairness and justice, the FIA application argued, the Supreme Court might order the establishment of a high-powered medical board to look into the claims of deterioration in the health of the accused.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018