ISLAMABAD: In the SECP record tampering case, the special judge central, while terming the FIA inquiry report incomplete, has said apart from Zafarul Haq Hijazi, the other top officials who signed the backdate note on Chaudhry Sugar Mills case are also the sailors of the same boat, and it makes a case of further inquiry.
The special judge central, Islamabad, has issued his judgement on former SECP Chairman Zafarul Haq Hijazi’s bail after arrest case in Chaudhry Sugar Mills record tampering case on Wednesday. The special judge, in his judgement, has mentioned that the case needs consideration and further inquiry to ascertain whether undue influence was made by Zafarul Haq Hijazi or the closure note on Chaudhry Sugar Mills money laundering case was made with consensus of other top officials of SECP.
It is also mentioned in the judgement that a tentative look at evidence shows that the closure note was made by SECP Commissioner Tahir Mahmood, SECP Executive directors Maheen Fatima, Abid Hussain and Ali Azeem Ikram, but at the same time all of them stated that the closure note was made at backdate as per influence of Zafarul Haq Hijazi. The statements of the officers who signed the same alleged closure note in backdate, independent corroborative piece of evidence is needed, observed the judge.
While addressing the real issue of entries in backdate under pressure, the judge has observed that the closure note was required as it was well discussed between the relevant dealing officers ie Tahir Mahmood, Maheen Fatima, Abid Hussain and Ali Azeem Ikram. Thereafter, these officers signed the closure note in backdate and then became witnesses of the same incident.
A tentative look at evidence shows that the closure note backdate was made after meetings and full discussions amongst Tahir Mahmood, Maheen Fatima, Abid Hussain, Ali Azeem Ikram and Tariq Ahmed: all of them are sailors of the same boat, observed the judge. The judge has also referred to the various emails exchanged between Tariq Ahmed and Maheen Fatima on this issue with the observation that none of those emails mention anything regarding Mr Hijazi. It was concluded that other than the statements of officers who signed the alleged closure note in backdate, independent corroborative evidence is needed in the case against Mr Hijazi.
The judge, while granting bail to Mr Hijazi, referred to the JIT’s analysis of Ms Maheen that she is a dicey character. It also relied on Abid Hussain’s statement before the JIT in which he had disclosed that the case against Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited was made on political grounds by the PPP government. It is pertinent to mention that opening and closing of the case, Tahir Mahmood was the commissioner in-charge of the department handling this case. While the officers concerned have confirmed Mr Tahir’s involvement, yet he has shied away from having any association with the case.
The judge emphasised on the JIT’s report that Abid Hussain knew about the irregularity (backdate note) but did not take any steps to address this criminal act. As a matter of fact, backdating was not possible without the consent of Abid Hussain as he was the custodian of record when this incident took place.
The special judge also expressed his displeasure at FIA in order for not providing Mr Hijazi an opportunity to put his defence while recording statements of the witnesses under Section 164 CRPC