No Fly Case: LHC Criticised FIA Report in Moonis Elahi’s Wife Case

June 4, 2023


No Fly Case: LHC Criticised FIA Report in Moonis Elahi’s Wife Case

Shaeran Rufus

LAHORE: On Friday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) criticized an officer from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for providing an inadequate report in a case involving the inclusion of the name of Moonis Elahi’s wife on the ‘no-fly list‘.

Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry expressed dissatisfaction during the hearing of a petition filed by Tehreem Elahi, who was prevented from boarding her scheduled flight on January 10th at the Lahore airport due to her name being on the no-fly list.

The investigation agency defended its decision to include her on the no-fly list by saying that they found an unlawful transaction of 27 million rupees in Tehreem Elahi’s bank account in 2020. During the court hearing, an Assistant Director from FIA named Sarfraz Virk presented a response to Tehreem’s petition. Justice Chaudhry said that it seemed to be a political matter and expressed his dissatisfaction with the FIA’s report.

The judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC) questioned the FIA assistant director, Mr. Virk, about why he was in the court, suggesting that he was either there to do his job or contest elections. The judge also questioned how Mr. Virk had obtained his position.

The FIA assistant director informed the court that the petitioner had been summoned for an investigation, to which the judge remarked that there was no stay order against the probe and questioned if the FIA could place the name of any citizen on a stop list solely based on an inquiry. The judge also commented on how such postings do not last for long.

The judge rebuked the FIA officer for holding the position of the assistant director but not performing their duties effectively. The judge ordered the officer to appear in the next hearing with Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) and said that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had already disposed of a money laundering case against the Chaudhry family.

The counsel for the federal government said that the case against Tehreem was different. At one point, the judge said that the FIA assistant director lied in court, stating that it seemed that the officer did not care about their career. The officer tendered an unconditional apology, but the judge said that he would look into the apology in the next hearing on January 27.

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