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Hajj scandal: SC sends Gilani's immunity claim to Law Ministry

26 February, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the Law Ministry to examine the case of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who claims immunity under Article 248 of the constitution in the case of illegal appointment of former Hajj director general Rao Shakeel.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also directed the Ministry of Interior to ensure deportation of Ahmed Faiz, the middleman in the Hajj scandal, from Saudi Arabia and submit compliance report before it.

During the hearing, FIA Director Hussain Asghar and investigation officer in the Hajj corruption case informed the bench that former premier Gilani who had been implicated in the illegal appointment of Rao Shakeel had claimed immunity under Article 248 of the constitution.

Upon this, the court directed the Law Ministry to give its opinion over the immunity claimed by Gilani. Meanwhile, Hussain Asghar also submitted a report pertaining to the case and submitted that the Ministry of Interior was not cooperating in deporting Ahmed Faiz, the main accused in the Hajj scandal, from Saudi Arabia.

He further informed the court that they had dispatched dozens of letters to the Interior Ministry, IB and ISI in the past two years; however, he said that they have not yet received any reply. Hussain Asghar contended that Ahmed Faiz has been staying illegally in Saudi Arabia and his passport has been cancelled.

Until and unless the authorities concerned do not contact the Saudi authorities, Faiz cannot be brought back from Saudi Arabia, the investigation officer said. It must be noted that on the last hearing, Hussain Asghar had told the court that Faiz had looted the Pakistani pilgrims with the patronage of Saudi nationals.

"Prima facie, the Interior Ministry is not interested in deporting Ahmed Faiz," the chief justice remarked. He also directed the interior secretary to ensure deportation of Faiz from Saudi Arabia and submit a compliance report in the court. The court has adjourned the hearing until March 15.

End.

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