LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the performance of the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Department and sought appearance of its director general (DG).

The court also directed the DG to submit a detail report regarding pending cases and inquires in the department on next date of hearing.

Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik issued these orders on a petition moved by

Sakhi Sarwar, an employee of the revenue department, seeking directions to quash a case registered against him by the ACE.

Accused Sarwar submitted that the department had registered a fake case against him about five years ago, but after the laps of sufficient time the department had not yet completed the investigation of the case.

A senior officer of the ACE appeared before the court but remained failed to satisfy the court on the point of incomplete investigation within five years.

At this, the judge remarked that inefficiency of the officials concerned and the courts as well.

“Five years for investigation of a single case is enough to expose the performance of the department,” the judge said. The court will resume the hearing on September 14.

HEATED DEBATE: Two senior lawyers, also counsels for a petitioner, on Wednesday exchanged heated debate during hearing in contempt petition against President Asif Ali Zardari for not leaving office of PPP co-chairman in view of the decision of the LHC in May, last year.

A full bench on Wednesday heard the contempt petition moved by Munir Ahmad through Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique and AK Dogar.

At a stage of proceedings, Siddique requested the court to speed up the contempt case in style of summary trail and referred a judgment of Justice Sardar Muhammad Iqbal. But, his co-counsel AK Dogar interrupted him, and addressed the court by saying that Siddique knew nothing. The judgment was of Justice Mian Ajmal, not of Justice Iqbal. But, Azhar stressed his stance and said according to his preparation of the case the judgment was of Justice Iqbal.

“When we will not do the preparation jointly, such mistakes will happen again and again,” Dogar counter the stance of his colleague.

However, at the end of hearing, AK Dogar lauded Azhar Siddique for arguments advanced by him in the contempt case against President Zardari.

REPORT SOUGHT FROM NAB: The LHC on Wednesday sought detailed reports National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of inquiries into allegations of embezzlement in illegal sale of properties of Pakistan embassies in Japan and Indonesia.

The bureau submitted a primarily inquiry report regarding sale of the embassy in Japan and said that then ambassador Kamran Niaz had illegally sold the building of the embassy against $49 million. And, the former ambassador had invested the earned money in a private steel mill.

However, LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial expressed dismay when a NAB counsel said inquiry into the sale of country’s embassy in Indonesia had not been carried out so far. The chief justice adjourned the hearing of the petition until October 11 and directed the bureau to come up with detailed inquiry reports.

Dr Qaiser Rashid had filed this petition against alleged embezzlement and misappropriation of billions of rupees by selling the building of these embassies. He said the LHC on April 15, 2011 while disposing of his petition had directed the NAB director general to hold inquiry into the allegations within 60 days.

He alleged that the NAB authorities had failed to hold and conclude the inquiry as such violated the court order for which they should be tried and punished.