LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday took strict notice of the transfer of investigation of a fiscal fraud case and restrained a newly appointed officer of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from probing the case against an owner of a visa consultancy firm.

Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi also summoned the federal interior secretary, FIA director general and Lahore SSP operations on the next date of hearing to provide an explanation in this regard.

A FIA official, present in the courtroom, informed the judge that investigation of the case against Asim Malik, the owner of the visa consultancy firm, had been transferred to Khadim Hussain Bhatti from Jawad Qureshi, who was placed at the disposal of the Punjab government.

The court expressed displeasure over the change of investigation and observed that it had been done to save the skin of the accused who looted millions of rupees of the public.

“Officers are being appointed on the basis of favouritism to influence the case,” the judge observed before restraining Khadim Hussain Bhatti from probing the case until further orders.

The counsel of the accused, Dr Abdul Basit, informed the judge that his client was not medically fit, because of which he could not attend the court proceedings. He also produced a medical certificate regarding the fitness of Asim Malik and requested the court to grant him exemption from court hearings. The judge, however, turned down his request, and directed the doctor and issuer of the certificate to also appear on the next date of hearing.

Different petitioners submitted that they had given money to the consultancy firm named Future Concerns for going abroad but they were defrauded. They said the firm’s chief executive Asim Malik neither sent them abroad nor returned their money. They stated the respondent was planning to flee the country because of cases against his company. They also requested the court for directions to the authorities concerned for taking against the accused.

Meanwhile, the LHC on Friday restrained a private entertainment channel from airing Indian dramas and ordered the Pakistan Electronic and Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to discontinue its transmission if it disobeyed the court order.

Justice Aysha A Malik issued the interim order on a petition moved by another private entertainment channel. The petitioner submitted that a Dubai-based entertainment channel was airing its transmission in Pakistan. It said the respondent TV was also airing Indian dramas during its transmission against Pemra rules and regulations.

Pemra’s director general operations and licensing appeared before the court and submitted that the channel was not airing its transmission in violation of rules. The court heard arguments of the two parties and issued a stay order against Indian dramas on the respondent TV.

Also, the LHC on Friday sent a girl to Darul Amaan after coming to know that she was a minor and ordered for her medical test.

The matter came to the notice of Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi while hearing a love marriage case. A prayer leader Syed Muzammal Hussain had moved a petition seeking directions to quash an FIR registered with Sadar Police Station of Gujrat district against him for kidnapping Perveen Bibi. Tanvir Hussain, a maternal uncle of the girl, had got registered the case against the husband of his niece.

Accused Muzammal Hussain requested the court to record the statement of his third wife Perveen to ascertain whether the marriage was forced or by consent. On this, Perveen appeared before the court and recorded her statement in favour of her husband. However, the court was stunned when the girl said she was still a minor. Instead of sending the girl with Muzammal Hussain, the judge sent the girl to Daarul Amman.