Judge slams FIA over delay in completion of investigation in money laundering case

Judge slams FIA over delay in completion of investigation in money laundering case

Judge slams FIA over delay in completion of investigation in money laundering case

LAHORE: A judge of a special banking court on Tuesday lashed out at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for not completing the investigation into the money laundering and sugar scam against Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz.

As Presiding Judge Tahir Sabir resumed the hearing, he was informed that investigation was still underway.

The judge got infuriated and remarked that 16 months have passed but the FIA had not completed the investigation. It has failed to fulfil the requirements of the law which demands submission of challan (report under section 173 Criminal Procedure Code CrPC). The judge warned of issuing notices to the entire FIA.

FIA had challenged the jurisdiction of the special court to hold the trial in the inquiry wherein an interim challan had also been filed by the agency.

Shahbaz Sharif appeared in the court along with his lawyer Amjad Pervez. He argued 9 account holders have been named in the case, who had been granted interim bail by this court. He said on January 8, 2021, the FIA deputy director law had sought time from the court to complete the investigation and stated that he had no objection over the bails granted to Shehbaz’s co-accused.


Read more: FIA official issued show-cause notice in money laundering case

He said the FIA did not even challenge the interim bail order of the nine co-accused in the high court. He pointed out that in a written report FIA conceded the jurisdiction of this court in the instant case and did not raise this objection during the hearing of bail petitions of co-accused Azhar Mahmood and Asim Suri as well.

Pervez further stated that on October 9, 2021, during Shehbaz’s bail petition hearing, the FIA for the first time took the objection regarding jurisdiction of this court and presented the challan of the case to a special judge central. However, this court issued the show-cause notice to the FIA officials for not presenting the case challan before it in line with the court’s previous order, he added.

The lawyer said that there is no law regarding the transfer of cases to another court.

“As per judgments of the superior courts the case cannot be transferred to another court merely at the bail stage or merely after presentation of challan,” Pervez told the court. He argued that the jurisdiction of a court could be questioned only after the indictment of the accused.

The challan submitted is still incomplete, Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyer added.


He insisted that since the court had already given relief of bail to the co-accused, the challan will remain in the same court.

In response, FIA prosecutors argued that according to the law, the investigating agency has the right to object to the jurisdiction of the court. The offences inserted in the case determined the jurisdiction, they added.

The judge remarked that the matter of jurisdiction would have been resolved if the investigation had been concluded to the extent of bankers.

Read more: FIA declares Shehbaz Sharif, his sons prime suspects in money-laundering scam

“Sixteen months have passed and the FIA has not completed its investigation yet. I have begged for a challan, is this a law? Is this a requirement of law? Why not issue a notice to the entire FIA?” Judge Sardar Tahir Sabir remarked. He added that the Criminal procedure Code clearly states that the challan must be submitted within the stipulated time of 14 days.

Addressing the IO, the judge said DG was given time to complete the investigation after he had insisted that he had to go through a truck full of evidence.


The court granted FIA 10 days to complete the investigation and present the complete challan.

The court also deferred the hearing of bail petitions till January 14 and extended the interim bail of Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz.

The FIA had booked Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman in November 2020 under sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 34 and 109 – financial fraud, impersonation and forgery – of the PPC and 5(2) and 5(3) – criminal misconduct – of Prevention of Corruption Act and r/w 3/4 of Anti Money Laundering Act. Suleman Shehbaz is absconding in the UK.

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