SC rejects FIA’s probe report on Hajj corruption

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday rejected the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) investigation report regarding irregularities in Hajj arrangements.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry slammed the FIA for wasting time and said its report was not transparent. He added that influential people are involved in the scandal.

A six-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the suo motu case, while Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul-Haq presented the FIA’s progress report into the case.

The court was told that Javed Ali Shah has replaced Director General FIA Waseem Ahmed as the inquiry officer on its orders. The Supreme Court had earlier directed the government to remove Waseem Ahmed from his post after he had requested the government to relieve him of duty as he had failed to call five secretaries for investigation.

The FIA was probing into an embezzlement of millions of rupees in Hajj affairs, the crossfire over which provoked Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani into axing two federal ministers from the cabinet three days back.

The corruption and irregularities in the Hajj scam which had put an extra burden of Rs35,000 on each pilgrim last year and led to the sacking of former federal minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi and Azam Swati has sent ripple effects through the political landscape of the country ending up in the JUI-F quiting from the coalition.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned till January 27.