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LHC issues notice to FIA on plea of Moonis Elahi

LHC issues notice to FIA on plea of Moonis Elahi

LHC issues notice to FIA on plea of Moonis Elahi

LHC issues notice to FIA on plea of Moonis Elahi. Image: File

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LAHORE: Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on a petition of former federal minister Chaudhry Moonis Elahi seeking quashment of a case of alleged money laundering registered by the agency against him in the light of a report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission of 2020.

Earlier, Advocate Amjad Pervez appeared before the court on behalf of Elahi and contended that the impugned case and the proceedings before the FIA were a result of malafide intention and considerations extraneous to law.

He alleged that the impugned proceedings had been initiated to harass and blackmail the petitioner and his family so as to muffle their voice against the coalition government in the centre.

The counsel pointed out that the alleged occurrence (financial transactions) in the FIR had been related to the period from 2007 to 2020 whereas the FIR had been registered in 2022. He argued that the agency failed to furnish any plausible explanation for the ‘shocking’ delay in the registration of the FIR.

He stated that none of the suspects nominated in the FIR had been a public servant in the service of the federal government or any corporation under the control of the centre.

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He further said that the FIR had been registered in pursuance of the sugar inquiry without issuing any summon or notice to the petitioner which showed clear mala fide and violation of the statutory laws.

The counsel asked the court to declare the impugned case unlawful and quash the same.

After hearing the arguments, Justice Asjad Javed Ghural issued a notice to the FIA for submission of a reply within a fortnight.

A special court had confirmed the pre-arrest bail of Moonis Elahi and other suspects including Punjab Assembly secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti and Wajid Bhatti in the case.

The FIA registered the FIR under sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention), 109 (punishment for abatement), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a genuine forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.

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