KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday restrained Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from arresting former federal commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim in cases pertaining to multi-billion rupees trade subsidy scam.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who headed a division bench of SHC, issued notice to secretary interior ministry, director general FIA and others to submit their respective comments on a petition by July 17. The court directed FIA official investigating the FIRs of the cases against PPP leader to appear before it along with relevant record of the cases.
Farooq H Naik, petitioner’s counsel, said that FIA had nominated PPP leader in 12 FIRs pertaining to the scam and filed 12 final charge-sheets in trial court against him but it has yet failed to place on record any incriminating evidence to corroborate his involvement in the scam.
He said that though SHC had allowed Fahim protective bail, which was valid till July 10, in all 12 FIRs lodged in pursuance of enquiry (38/2012) into multi-billion rupees trade subsidy scam. He apprehended that FIA was hatching conspiracies to involve Fahim in some more cases in order to harass him, adding that petitioner had learnt that FIA in connivance with his political rivals might register several similar cases.
Therefore, he requested the court to direct FIA to divulge the exact number of FIRs which have been registered against Fahim in respect of inquiry and restrain it from lodging more cases without permission of the court.
The court was also pleaded to direct FIA to submit a consolidated charge-sheet in all cases before trial court and also order one court to conduct trial in respect of all FIRs. After preliminary hearing, the bench ruled: “The petitioner shall not be arrested in other FIRs lodged in pursuance of inquiry (38/2012).” It further directed FIA to disclose the FIRs in which petitioner was nominated.
Earlier on July 25, the court had granted protective bail to Fahim that enabled him to participate in the funeral rites of his elder brother Makhdoom Naveed-uz-Zaman and surrender in trial court.
FIA has registered cases against the two PPP leaders, including former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Fahim and some other senior officials of the TDAP, for their alleged involvement in approving and disbursing fraudulent trade subsidies of millions of rupees to several fake companies through fictitious claims and backdated cheques.