Friday, August 19, 2011

The hearing of Moonis Elahi’s acquittal petition in the NICL case has been adjourned to 6 September

Lahore (August 18, 2011) The hearing of Moonis Elahi’s acquittal petition in the NICL case has been adjourned to 6 September on the request of Additional Director General FIA Zaffar Qureshi.  Today as soon as the NICL case hearing began in the court of District Judge Mujahid Mustaqeem, FIA’s Zaffar Qureshi moved a written request asking for a one month adjournment.  The learned judge after a short suspension of proceedings accepted Zaffar Qureshi’s request.  On this unexpected decision, Moonis Elahi’s lawyers argued that the adjournment of the acquittal petition was a clear violation of the written order dated 18 May 2011 of a three member Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry according to which the courts were fully independent in trying Moonis Elahi and they were not to be influenced by the trial of the NICL case in the Supreme Court.  The said order was issued on the request that Moonis Elahi was not getting his due legal relief because the NICL case was also being heard in the Supreme Court, further argued Moonis Elahi’s lawyers.

Rai Bashir Ahmed advocate arguing in the court said that in his 40 years of legal experience never before had an investigation officer ordered the court to grant him one month period for investigation.  The investigation officer of the said case is Chaudhry Ashgar who is still to appear in the court, pleaded Moonis Elahi’s lawyer. He further pleaded that Zaffar Qureshi had deliberately misinformed the court about being unable to complete the investigation due to his transfer on April 18, 2011. He argued that Zaffar Qureshi on March 21, 2011 had informed the honourable court of having completed investigations in two cases and of submitting final case challans. He said that the court should take action against Zaffar Qureshi for furnishing false information to the court. Moonis Elahi’s defence lawyer accused the FIA of turning the case into a personal feud after failing to bring up anything against his client. Later talking to the media, Moonis Elahi’s team of defence lawyers said that they would contest today’s decision right up to the Supreme Court. They particularly pointed out at the honourable judge’s unwarranted suspension of today’s court proceedings twice for 10 and 45 minutes respectively and for staying in the retiring room without specifying any reason.

Earlier, Moonis Elahi was brought amid tight security to the court. A large number of PML workers had come to show their solidarity with the incarcerated leader including Abdullah Yousaf Warraich, Aamna Ulfat, Samina Khawar Hayyat, Seemal Kamran, Umer Farooq Dar.