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Supreme Court of Pakistan. — AFP photo/File

ISLAMABAD: During Tuesday's hearing the case of Haj corruption case, the Supreme Court issued a notice to former secretary establishment Ismael Qureshi over the appointment of former Director General of Haj operations Rao Shakeel, DawnNews reported.

A three judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the case.

The Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Hussain Asghar, also chief investigation officer of the case, submitted a progress report to the apex court.

Asghar said the FIA was investigating the appointment of Rao Shakeel. He said Shakeel's appointment was made by Ismael Qureshi who was then secretary establishment.

The chief investigation officer said the Supreme Court had barred the FIA from arresting Qureshi.

The apex court issued a notice to the former secretary establishment and directed him to provide an explanation why the decision of not arresting him should not be withdrawn.

Asghar said Governor Punjab, as chancellor of the province's public-sector universities, was a hindrance in the verification of the university degree of Zain Sukhera, a former consultant to the Ministry of Information Technology and a close friend of a son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Responding to which, Chief Justice Iftikhar said verification of degrees was not the remit of the chancellor but of a vice chancellor.

Asghar said even the vice chancellor of the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) was not cooperating in the matter.

The investigation officer told the court that a petition had been filed in the Supreme Court to challenge the interim order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) over the arrest of Zain Sukhera.

Chief Justice Iftikhar said this appeal would be considered during the next hearing of the case.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned until Nov 19.