LAHORE: A Lahore High Court two-judge bench will take up on Thursday (today) a writ petition of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza, challenging an inquiry into money laundering charges against them initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Both father and the son are on pre-arrest bail in the case granted by a special court (bank offences) last year.

The petition filed through Advocate Amjad Pervez states that the proceedings in the inquiry against the petitioners are prompted by mala fide intention, ulterior motive and considerations extraneous to law.

It says registration of a series of cases in quick succession and repeated arrests of the petitioners in the past are classic examples of misuse of process by the law enforcement agencies at the behest of the federal government to muffle the voice of the opposition.

LHC bench to take up plea today

The petition also questions the FIA’s jurisdiction to register the impugned FIR as the agency does not have the jurisdiction to proceed in such matters. None of the suspects nominated in the FIR was a public servant in the service of the government or employee of any company/corporation, it adds.

The petition argues that there is not even an allegation in the case of causing loss to the public exchequer, any bank or any other financial institution. The FIA has also failed to produce any evidence of any proceeds of crime, which is a mandatory condition to allege an offence under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010, it says.

It submits that the entire proceedings have been initiated against the petitioners when they were already in judicial lockup in another case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on similar charges.

It says the impugned FIR was registered after a three-month inquiry and the FIR does not spell out any admissible piece of evidence to suggest any role of the petitioners in the alleged offence.

The petition seeks quashing of the FIR registered by the FIA being illegal and also restraining of the respondents from taking any adverse action against the petitioners.

The petition has been fixed for hearing before the two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022



Under pressure
Updated 25 Jan, 2022

Under pressure

It is fairly obvious that PM is cognisant of the trouble that his government is in from a political and economic perspective.
25 Jan, 2022

Ukraine tensions

TENSIONS between Nato and Russia over Ukraine have reached a critical pass, and there are genuine fears of a fresh...
25 Jan, 2022

Defeating polio

WITH Pakistan in the decisive stage of the battle against polio, every vaccination campaign is of significance as it...
24 Jan, 2022

Anti-extremism policy

HAD there been more far-sighted policymaking on the part of the state and an understanding of how religious ...
Government’s silence
Updated 24 Jan, 2022

Government’s silence

A MAJOR trial is underway in London during which Pakistan has repeatedly been mentioned as the place where payment...
24 Jan, 2022

Cutting mangroves

FOR Karachi, the mangrove cover along its coastline is a thin line of defence against potential oceanic and climatic...