Land scams: SJC again offers ex-judge Naqvi to cross-examine witnesses

ISLAMABAD  -  The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) Thursday again said that Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, a for­mer judge of Supreme Court, can cross-examine the witnesses, ap­pearing against him in the land scams, but if he or no one appears then it would be deemed that the ex-judge has nothing in his defence.

The SJC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, who is also Chairman of Supreme Judicial Coun­cil, and comprises two most senior judges of the Supreme Court – Jus­tice Sardar Tariq Masood, and Jus­tice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, and – Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and Ba­lochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Afghan, conducted hearing of the complaints against former SC judge in Courtroom No.1 as former judge had asked the Council that his case be heard in the open court.

Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan, who is prose­cutor in the complaint against Naqvi, produced two more witnesses – Manager Askari Bank, Cantt branch, Lahore, and Malik Zahid Rafiq, own­er of Lahore Smart City and Capital Smart City Private Limited.

The manager Askari Bank, in pur­suance of the Council’s direction, pro­vided documents related to two pay orders of Rs50 million each, which Naqvi’s sons had given to Chaudhry Shahbaz, husband of Bisma Warsi, in exchange of plot 100/102 adjacent to St. John’s Park, Lahore.

Malik Zahid Rafiq informed the Council that he owns eight com­panies, and has been in property business for the last four decades. He told that through land provid­er Raja Safdar he met with Mazahar Naqvi, and had two meetings with the ex-SC judge at his residence. He informed that he had been paying Rs150,000/- per month to the law firm of Mazahar Naqvi’s sons.

Rafiq stated that he sent 5000 UK Pounds to Naqvi’s daughter, who was in London. He apprised that yet the ex-judge had not returned that amount. He said on April 16, 2019 he gave two plots of 500 sq yds to Naqvi’s sons, who have sold them.

Chaudhry Muhammad Shahbaz in­formed the SJC that in dishonour of bank cheque his wife had appeared in the court of Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, when he was judge of Lahore High Court. Bisma had died on 6-12-2020. She was the owner of plot 100/102 adjacent to St. John’s Park, Lahore, which her husband Shahbaz sold to the ex-SC judge after Bisma’s death.

Ten prosecution witnesses, includ­ing Abdul Ghafar, Deputy Military Estate Officer, Lahore, Kashif She­hzad, Executive Officer Lahore Can­tonment Board, Asif Aziz, Director of a private evaluation company, Mo­hummad Kashif Rehman, Director of another private evaluation compa­ny, Jehangir Khan Khattak, Region­al Director NADRA, Lahore, Jazee­la Aslam, Secretary SJC, Chaudhry Muhammad Shahbaz, who sold plot to Justice Naqvi, Mohammad Saf­dar Khan, who purchased House No.114-E, Gulberg, Lahore, from the ex-SC judge, and two officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board re­garding two shops in Diyal Singh Mansion so far have recorded their statements and provided the rele­vant documents to the Council.

A five-member bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice Aminud Din Khan, on February 21, by a ma­jority of 4 to 1 held that if the Su­preme Judicial Council (SJC) initi­ates proceedings against a judge then it shall not abate with his re­tirement or retirement, and it is prerogative of the Council to con­tinue with the matter accordingly.

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