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IHC rejects plea to stop Ali Zafar’s probe into Jahangir Tareen

Barrister Ali Zafar. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking to stop Barrister Ali Zafar from investigating Jahangir Tareen, declaring it non-maintainable.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah expressed annoyance over petitions being filed which waste the court’s time when the IHC has thousands of cases pending.

The case had been filed by a citizen Fahad Shahid.

At the outset of hearing, the chief justice instructed Deputy Attorney General Tayyab Shah to assist the bench pertaining to the case after studying it.

The DAG adopted the stance that the petitioner was not an affected party in the subject.

He said that an irrelevant person couldn’t file a case in criminal matters.

The DAG said that the court shouldn’t hear such “strange and irrelevant” cases.

The chief justice expressed displeasure at the court’s time being wasted and remarked that the criminal proceedings, in any case, were going on in Lahore which does not fall under IHC’s jurisdiction.

“How will the common litigants get justice if such type of petitions are filed?” he questioned.

After this, the court dismissed the case declaring it non-maintainable.

‘Report in Tareen probe purely internal to PTI’

Barrister Ali Zafar was tasked last month by Prime Minister Imran Khan to probe allegations by Tareen — and party members who support him — that they have been targeted and politically victimised by state institutions and government representatives in high positions, especially Shahzad Akbar, the premier’s aide on accountability.

The Federal Investigation Agency is conducting a probe into a “sugar scam” that led to a shortage of the commodity and prices rocketing sky high.

The FIA in March last year, filed two cases against Tareen and his son Ali Tareen, on charges of Rs5 billion money laundering and fraud in the said scam. Both are on interim bail till May 31.

As speculation around Zafar’s investigation grew, rumours of a report already having been handed in began to surface.

Addressing such rumours, Zafar had a day earlier provided a clarification on Twitter.

“Let me make it clear that there is no report submitted by me. Any findings, not [necessarily] in writing, shall be purely internal to the PTI and have no legal value or status nor can the same have any relevance to or effect pending enquiries/investigations against the sugar barons or Mr Tareen,” Zafar wrote.

The senator added that “there is no room for concessions against corruption” as per the government policy set out by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Zafar stated that he has been tasked to look into the complaints made by Tareen, adding that he will submit his “recommendations directly and only to the PM” once his probe concludes.

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