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SC HEARS HUMAN RIGHTS CASES NO.57701-P, 57719-G, 57754-P, 58152-P, 59036-S, 59060-P, 54187-P..

Dated: 16-March-2011

A four member bench headed by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan and comprising other members namely Mr.Justice Javed Iqbal, Mr. Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed & Mr. Justice Ghulam Rabbani heard the Suo Motu Case No. 24 of 2010 and Human Rights Cases No.57701-P, 57719-G, 57754-P, 58152-P, 59036-S, 59060-P, 54187-P & 58118-K of 2010 regarding Corruption in Hajj Arrangements in 2010.

The senior lawyers, Government Officers & FIA Officers appeared in this case. The case was heard today and the bench passed the following order:-
“Syed Javed Ali Bokhari, Additional Director,
FIA appeared alongwith Mr. Hussain Asghar, Director and Investigation Team and pointed out that in compliance with the direction of this Court, regular daily investigation report is being filed before Hon’ble Mr. Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed. On the basis of these reports, a conclusion has also been drawn by his lordship which is reproduced herein below:-

“The pace of progress of investigation appears to be extremely slow and no effective legal steps and action so far has been taken by the Investigating Officer against all concerned, who are not providing the requisite information and documents essential for the further progress in the main case, as well as; in the investigation of the offshoot cases against accused persons found prim facie involved in committing different offences, rather; it is note worthy from these reports that government functionaries are deliberately hampering and obstructing the course of investigation but consequential action so far has not been resorted to against any of the defaulters by the FIA.

Also, it is a legal duty cast upon the investigating officer to deeply examine all the material aspects of the case and to collect all incriminating material particularly, be in the shape of oral or documentary evidence and to concentrate as to how and in what manner each of the allegations culminating in constituting the offences of which they are proceeded against, can be substantiated in a Court of law, which aspects remain omitted from taking due notice of, so far. The comments do not relate to the merits of the case except that the same are made in relation to the responsibility of an investigating officer cast upon him under the law to reach to the truth through the process of investigation and to bring the persons to the Court of law in case found to have committed the offences of which they have been charged.”

2. We all agree and concur with the above conclusion and expect that the pace of investigation shall be accelerated because now so many steps are yet to be taken to complete the task assigned to FIA. However, during hearing, they stated that they are doing their best to procure incriminating evidence against the accused persons and have also got recorded statements of some of the witnesses. In view of the importance of the matter of Hajj scam, wherein serious allegations of corruption have been attributed against the sitting Minister, State Minister and others, we understand the difficulty of the prosecution team as well to conduct the investigation freely notwithstanding the fact that Government has taken the stand to allow/continue Mr. Wasim Ahmed, Director General, FIA, although he was on contract basis but still we are of the opinion that Syed Javed Ali Bukhari, Additional Director General FIA and his team without being influenced in any manner from anyone, whosoever he may be, shall discharge their functions and significant progress shall be made till the next date of hearing.

3. Mr. Abdur Rauf Chaudhry, Secretary Establishment presented a list of the contract employees presently working against the cadre posts in the Secretariat and all its attached Departments. However, we have asked him to furnish a statement/certificate testifying that except these persons no other employee has been accepted working on contract against the cadre post. He undertook to do the same during the course of the day and such statement/certificate should be filed with the Registrar.

4. Be that as it may, Mr. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, learned Sr. ASC appearing for the Federation has submitted C.M.A. No.1012 of 2011 wherein preliminary objections on the instant proceedings have been raised. He insists for time to further prepare the case, however, on being asked to continue with the hearing still he is of the opinion that if some time is given he would be in a better position to assist the Court. Request is allowed. In the meanwhile, the Secretary Establishment should continue his performance and may also re-examine the case of Mr. Wasim Ahmed, Director General FIA because we are of the opinion that the Government should itself take decision in respect of such employees who prima facie are holding these posts in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Section 14 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973 as well as the policy of the Government and result shall be intimated on the next date of hearing.

5. Let the case be adjourned for 08.4.2011.

6. Rao Shakeel Ahmed, former DG, Hajj produced in Court in custody, is ordered to be taken back and be produced on the next date of hearing.

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