Friday, 19 August 2011

FIA gets more time to tight noose around Moonis Elahi


Reported by Imran Shah
Edited and improvised by Mahmood Sadiq

There was a new twist in NICL scam probe saga as a Lahore District and Sessions judge admitted an FIA application seeking one month time for submission of a fresh challan against Moonis Elahi and other accused.
It presents a new challenge to the counsels of PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi, who is the main accused in the land scam in National Insurance Company Limited (NICL). The Supreme Court is providing full support to FIA Additional Director General Zafar Ahmed Qureshi and his team who seem willing to carry forward the investigations in the face of all odds. The counsels of Moonis will have to summon all their resources to prove him innocent against the accusations of pocketing money through forged bank accounts.
On Thursday, District and Session Judge (DS&SJ) Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmed heard the case. During the hearing the FIA officials submitted an application seeking one month adjournment of case to complete the investigation and submit fresh challan against above mentioned accused.
FIA had to submit in Thursday’s hearing its reply in connection with the acquittal application filed by Moonis Elahi on last hearing whereby his counsels said they had completed their arguments and told the judge that all the witnesses had stated before the court that they had not given any statement against Moonis with an intention to implicate him.
The judge handed over Moonis Elahi’s counsels a copy of the FIA application, which was sent by the probe team head Zafar Qureshi, stating that as he was not on his seat and the investigation was incomplete and therefore FIA officials needed one more month to complete the investigation.
Counsel of Moonis Rai Bashir said that it was just an interruption in court proceedings and there was no need for a fresh challan. He read out the statement of FIA ADG Zafar Quarishi to Session Judge in which he had told the Supreme Court that FIA had submitted complete challan of the accused. Rai said that complete challan had been submitted by FIA on May 12 and it was a mockery of justice that the FIA wanted to submit a new challan in an effort to implicate his client.
FIA Assistant Director Zia Islam intervened and implored the court that investigation could be carried out at any time. Rai Bashir objected, telling the court that it would set a bad precedent if the court accepts the application. Rai Bashir prayed the court to reject the application. The judge however accepted FIA’s application and adjourned the hearing till September 6.
Earlier, on July 5 a banking court judge Abdul Rasheed had refused to continue hearing of the case when counsels of Moonis wanted the court to re-record statement of co-accused Maalik, who is also a manager of a company of the PML-Q leader. The court had remarked that counsels of Moonis were trying to influence proceedings.
Then, the Lahore High Court referred the case to Lahore District and Sessions Judge Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmad, after federal government issued a letter enabling the judge to take up the hearing of NICL case.
According to FIA officials, Moonis had allegedly got two forged bank accounts ‑ one in the name of his manager Abdul Malik and the other in his wife’s name ‑ for the sake of corruption in NICL.
The FIA had lodged two FIRs against PML-Q MPA Moonis Elahi, alleging that his manger Muhammad Maalik opened forged accounts in Allied Bank Limited, New Airport Brach and Dubai Islamic Bank, Main Boulevard Branch. The first FIR was registered on December 27, 2010 while second was lodged on January 27, 2011. These said that a man named Mohsin Warriach deposited Rs320 million and Rs220 million amounts in the first account and Rs100 million in the second account. FIA alleged that the money was actually taken by Moonis Elahi.
As per FIA report Maalik had admitted that he opened an account on the instruction of Moonis and an amount of Rs220 million was allegedly transferred to that account. But later Maalik backtracked from his statement.

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