The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that a medical board formed under the surgeon general shall examine Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, the suspects in ongoing money laundering case.
Anwar Majeed, who is a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, and his son were arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency on August 15 in a case pertaining to alleged money laundering of Rs4.14 billion through 29 ‘fake’ bank accounts. Majeed had been admitted to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on August 17 due to poor health.
On August 28, Majeed was brought to the Karachi banking court handling the case in an ambulance and an investigating officer informed the judge that the custody of the detained suspects was no more required by the FIA and pleaded to remand them to judicial custody.
While remanding the suspect to prison, the banking court had ordered that a medical examination report of the suspect be submitted before the court in the next hearing.
Today's orders were given by an SC bench after Chief Justice Saqib Nisar expressed disappointment at the fact that Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Director Dr Seemi Jamali was unable to determine the medical condition that Majeed was suffering with.
"Why can't you figure out what his ailment is? Is this not a failure on the part of the Sindh government?" Justice Nisar asked while addressing Dr Jamali.
"We will bring the patient to Islamabad and get a medical board under the surgeon general to find out what's wrong with him," he added.
Upon hearing this, Advocate Ayesha Hamid, the lawyer for Majeed, said that a lower court is already handling the matter in Sindh and the SC should not interfere in it.
"If the matter is related with the Sindh government, why will a Punjabi doctor handle the case," the lawyer said.
"Do not make this an issue of ethnicity," Justice Umer Ata Bandial told the lawyer.
The case was later adjourned till September 24.
In July, the FIA detained former chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Hussain Lawai and banker Taha Raza and booked them for allegedly facilitating the opening of the 29 ‘fake’ accounts through which suspicious transactions were made to different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.
It claimed that 29 ‘fake’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited, were allegedly used for making suspicious transactions to bank accounts of different personalities and entities.
The prosecution said one fake bank account titled M/s A-One International opened in the name of Tariq Sultan at the Summit Bank’s Khayaban-i-Tanzeem branch was allegedly used for money laundering, as the account statement showed that during a short span of 10 months (from March 6, 2014 to Jan 12, 2015) a sum of Rs4.145bn was credited and routed through an account.
The said amount was transferred to 13 different business entities and individuals, including the Zardari Group — a company owned by Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur — which received Rs15 million. The list of the beneficiaries included the names of Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Shahzad Ali, Zain Malik and 15 others.
A case under sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 109 (abatement) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act-II, 1947 read with sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 was registered at the FIA’s State Bank Circle police station.
In the interim charge sheet filed on July 21, Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur’s names appeared in the list of 20 individuals, who were beneficiaries of such alleged suspicious transactions, and named as absconders by the FIA.
Ms Talpur later obtained interim pre-arrest bail in the case in the sum of Rs2m.
Subsequently, the trial court ordered reissuance of non-bailable warrants for arrest of all absconders, including Asif Zardari. It ordered that all the suspects be arrested and presented before the court by Sept 4.