• Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

Court seeks five-year-long pending cases record from FIA

Federal Investigation Agencys Punjab Zone office in Lahore. — FIA Lahore
Federal Investigation Agency’s Punjab Zone office in Lahore. — FIA Lahore 
  • Court slams FIA for presenting false reports in absence of suspect.
  • Judge orders to suspend salary of Lahore FIA director.
  • Court seeks written reply from FIA officials.

LAHORE: The Special Court Central Wednesday sought records of pending cases of the last five years from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the interior ministry.

The development came after Special Court Central’s Judge Bakht Fakhar Behzad issued a verdict in the Safeer Gondal case. The suspect was booked under the Immigration Ordinance and Passport Act.

The court issued the order after a delay in the submission of the challan against the suspect. 

Judge Behzad has also summoned the Lahore FIA director in person at the next hearing, which will be held on February 2.

The court, in response to the delay in submission of the challan, ordered to suspend the salary of the Lahore FIA director until further notice and slammed the agency for being habitual of blatantly going against the law.

To suspend the salary of the FIA official, the court sent the order’s copy to the Accountant General of Pakistan (AGP).

The court also issued a show cause notice for action against the director. The court mentioned that the director must give a written reply to the reasons in the order and warned him of legal action if unable to do so.

It stated that such moves are tantamount to sabotaging the judicial system and mentioned that the FIA’s director and deputy director consider themselves above the law. “All this was brought to the notice of the director concerned and deputy director,” the order mentioned.

In the verdict, Judge Behzad wrote he has noticed that the FIA presents false reports in absence of the suspects at hearings. He added that the agency achieves its target by declaring innocent people as absconders.

The court stated that many cases remained under investigation for years, while the authorities issue challans against select accused.

The judge also said the FIA is “deliberately” not following the guidelines of the court. “Delay in the execution of the criminal code is punishable under Section 166 of the Penal Code of Pakistan.”

The order mentioned that the people have expressed their apprehensions and a lack of trust in the courts due to the federal agency’s shortcomings.

The court also directed the interior ministry’s secretary to submit a report detailing the cases that are pending for the last five years.

“How many completed challans were sent for trial? What action was taken against investigation officers, deputy directors, and directors of the FIA for a delay in submission of challan?”

The court, seeking answers from the FIA, adjourned the hearing till February 2.

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