LAHORE – The Supreme Court of Pakistan was told on Monday that the main accused in the PCSIRHS corruption case was the brother-in-law of deputy secretary of National Assembly; therefore the federal investigation agency was reluctant to arrest him.

The apex court was hearing the petition of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research housing society members seeking directions to FIA to arrest the accused and recover the looted amount of more than Rs12 million.

The petitioners through their counsel Sakindar Hayat submitted that Rs12.75 million had been misappropriated from the account of PCSIR housing society in 2010. The Satokatal police registered a case and arrested once accused Khalid Mahmood, while the others including Zamaan, Aslam Tahir and Aslam Sheikh and main accused Zeeshan Afzal were still at large.

The apex court on last hearing had ordered the FIA to arrest Zeeshan, who had withdrawn Rs8.2 million out of the total amount.

An investigation officer of FIA appeared before a bench comprising Justice Jawad S. Khawaja and Justice Ameer Muslim Hani and told the court that he had written to the interior ministry to put the name of accused, Zeeshan Afzal, in Exit Control List. The FIA was also trying to arrest the accused, the investigation officer Javed further told the bench.

The apex court reproached him over the statement and observed that he had deliberately not arrest the accused despite the court’s orders.

Advocate Sakindar informed the court that FIA was not arresting the accused as he was a brother-in-law of NA deputy secretary Shamaoon Hashmi.

“The court is not concerned if the accused is related to any influential person or not. The court just wants the person arrested, who has deprived dozens of people of their money,” the bench observed.

The court allowed a last opportunity to FIA investigation officer to make the arrest and produce Zeeshan by April 5th, next date of hearing and warned him to summon Punjab FIA director Waqar Haider and other top officers in case the arrest was not made.

“The court may summon the FIA director general if the accused remained at large”, the bench hinted.