Supreme Court seeks detailed report on Haj corruption case
Terence J Sigamony
ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take action against those who were protecting Zain Sukhera in the Haj scam.A two-member bench of Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja resumed suo moto hearing regarding corruption in Haj arrangements in 2010.The Chief Justice had taken suo motu notice after receiving a letter from a Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz-Al-Saud, complaints of three MNAs, two Senators, and applications received by Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday from different Hajis during performance of Haj alleging corruption in Haj arrangements.
The court questioned the delay in verification of Zain Sukhera’s law degree from the concerned university which was still in process after passage of more than one year. The court expressed dismay over FIA lacklustre performance in Haj corruption scam 2010, and sought detailed report from the agency to ascertain probe progress in the scam so far.Sukhera, one of the accomplice in the Haj corruption scam 2010 had been working as consultant to the Ministry of Information Technology whereas he had also been reported to be a close friend of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son Abdul Qadir Gilani At outset of the hearing, Director FIA Inam Ghani apprised the bench that one of the accomplices in the scam Zain Sukhera’s LLB degree verification being sought from Bahauddin Zakria University Multan. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that verification of friend (Zain Sukhera) of the Premier’s son was possible in 10 minutes, adding, that it is beyond understanding as to why the court order has not been adhered regarding verification of Sukhera’s LLB degree in one year and one month.‘It is very surprising to know that after passage of long duration the FIA failed to verify authentication of degree’, Justice Khawaja added.
During the hearing, a report pertaining to investigation against Director Haj Rao Shakeel, former Secretary Establishment Ismail Qureshi and Joint Secretary Haj S.M Tahir was presented before the bench stating that the challans were submitted in the concerned court against all the three officials on April 25th, 2010. He bench was informed that former Secretary Establishment Ismail Qureshi was declared innocent by the FIA. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja inquired why name of former Secretary Establishment Qureshi was written in column number 2 of the submitted challan intentionally upon which Deputy Attorney General Shafi Muhmmad Chandio sought time from the bench to submit reply.FIA Director Inam Ghani told the bench that he was assigned the task to probe corruption in the Haj arrangements on April 20th, 2012 and pleaded for more time to investigate the matter.Giving him more time to probe the matter, the Bench sought comprehensive report from the official relating to investigation into the instant matter so far.The Bench adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks.