LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday admonished the Lahore DIG (Operations) for not arresting an accused involved in fraud of billions of rupees despite issuance of his arrest warrants.

“Law enforcement agencies including the Punjab Police are defying judicial orders. Should the courts close after such disobedient response from them,” Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi posed a query while hearing nearly 40 petitions seeking recovery of their money from an owner of an immigration and visa consultancy firm.

Many citizens filed the petitions and submitted that Asim Malik, owner of the firm, obtained million of rupees after the promises to send them abroad. Neither he was sending them abroad nor returning their money, the petitioners added. They requested the court to order authorities concerned to take action against the owner besides recovering money from him.

Following the notice, DIG (Operations) Ria Tahir appeared before the court and admitted the police’s failure in arrest of accused.

He informed the court the accused was stall at large. Police teams had been formed for his arrest and he would be traced soon, Tahir further said.

Justice Naqvi rebuked him over the statement and remarked that police as well as other law enforcing agencies had been failed to comply with the court orders. The judge also expressed displeasure over the absence of officials of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Accused counsel also told the court that his client had challenged the issuance of arrest warrants by the high court. Therefore, he could not appear before the court.

The court adjourned hearing until September 24 and again ordered the police to arrest the accused if the apex court did not entertain his petition.

The court had directed many times the accused to appear before the court, but he could not following which the court issued arrest warrants for him.

The court had also directed the FIA to put Malik’s name into ECL list.

Also, the LHC on Monday issued notices to the Punjab government and the Health Secretary on a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the Young Doctors Association (YDA) for agitating to press their demands in violation of court orders.

The petitioner submitted that the court had clearly restrained the YDA from protesting and agitating. But, they violated the court orders and still were conduction agitations increasing miseries of poor patients at government hospitals.

By agitating for their demands including service structure, the YDA were trying to influence the court already hearing the matter, the petitioner pointed out.

He requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against them for defying the court orders. Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard initial arguments on the petition and sought detailed reply from the respondents. The court will resume hearing on September 21.

Meanwhile, the LHC on Monday sought reply from the Punjab Inspector General of Police, Prosecution Department, and Capital Chief Police Officer (CCPO) on a petition challenging poor investigation system.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed the petition and submitted the police instead of conducting investigation in line with modern techniques was probing all cases which could not corroborate the role of the accused with his act.

The petitioner contended that this faulty style of investigation was resulting into encouragement of the accused. Only 8 per cent criminals got convicted while rest of the 92 per cent got released owing to poor style of investigation of the police. Justice Ali Baqir Najfi recorded initial arguments and issued notice to respondents seeking reply until September 19.