RE - District and Sessions Judge Lahore will take up hearing of National Insurance Corporation Ltd (NICL) land scam case today against PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi, the son of former Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
Judge Malik Abdul Rasheed on last July 5 had refused to continue trial proceedings of the scam when it was at the final stage, just owing to reaction and debate of the counsels from Moonis and his company manager Maalik. The judge could not record the statement of Maalik again in procedure of acquittal application of Moonis, whereas the procedure had been completed already.
On July 5, the court started proceedings when Advocate Amjad Pervez argued in favour of the acquittal application filed by his client Moonis Elahi. The proceedings were continued and the court was to record the statement of co-accused Muhammad Maalik under section 342 of CrPC.
The counsel of the accused Rai Bashir objected that the court had no jurisdiction to record the statement of the accused at this stage of the case because all had been told to the court already. He read the section on which the judge insisted that under said section, the court could record statement of any accused at any stage. The counsel said that there was not example of such exercise of powers given to court under the section.
Maalik had moved to court rostrum on court directive and expressed his readiness to give reply to all questions of the judge. But after the objection of the counsels about the statement, Maalik also refused to record his statement before court following his counsel. But the judge remained stuck to his point and refused to proceed with the case, when counsels asked him to accept the acquittal application of Moonis with the stance that so far FIA had been failed to prove evidence against Moonis for his alleged involvement in NICL scam. On which the judge refused to continue proceedings in his court, with wording that the counsels were trying to influence the court, and therefore he could not hear the case further.
On last July 5, the judge had decided to refer the case to Lahore High Court Chief Justice for the hearing of the case to any other court.
After when Judge Maalik Abdul Rasheed sent case back to LHC CJ Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, then he transferred the case of said scam to District and Sessions Judge Lahore.
The LHC CJ had also asked the federal government to issue a notification for awarding powers of special court (banking offences) to the sessions judge Lahore for hearing the NICL scam. As per court sources, the notification was issued also in this regard.It is pertinent to mention here that Lahore Bar Association President Shahzad Hassan Sheikh on Monday said that security would be enhanced on premises of court for the hearing of NICL land scam.
On Monday, one of the Moonis counsels said that Moonis Elahi had nothing to do with the scam, and the Banking Judge should not have sent the case back to LHC and all that was wastage of time. The counsel further said that matter of NICL scam was being prolonged and politicised to damage the repute of Moonis.