Saturday, January 23, 2021

Lahore High Court stops anti-corruption to take action against infamous Khokhar Brothers

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The Lahore High Court on Friday restrained the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) from “harassing” PML-N MNA Afzal Khokhar and sought a report on cases registered against him. Khokhar had filed a petition and pleaded through his counsel, Ghulam Sarwar Nehang, that he had been subjected to vindictive actions at the behest of the government as he belonged to the opposition party.

Khokhar’s legal counsel said that the ACE had lodged 11 cases against the petitioner since the opposition launched its movement against the government. Recently, the ACE initiated another inquiry against the petitioner on charges of alleged corruption in the establishment of 32 model bazaars. He said three inquiries had already been conducted into the same matter.

The counsel asked the court to declare the inquiry launched by the ACE against the petitioner illegal and based on mala fide intention. An additional advocate general objected to the maintainability of the petition and sought time to file a reply on behalf of the government.

Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan restrained the ACE from taking coercive measures against the petitioner and directed the law officer to submit the reply within a week.

Infamous Khokhar brothers: Politicians or land grabbers?

It is important to note that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) summoned infamous alleged land grabbers, Khokhar brothers, on December 07, 2020 over their alleged involvement in money laundering and other criminal activities.

The FIA Lahore has issued a summon against Khokhar brothers-Saif ul Malook Khokhar, Muhammad Shafi Khokhar, and Afzal Khokhar- seeking a probe into money laundering, land grabbing, and assets beyond means allegations against them.

The notice sought an explanation from the brothers over transactions of large sums from their bank accounts. “Bring the documentary evidence along with you to prove the allegations as wrong,” the FIA said while warning them action could be taken against them over non-compliance.

It is pertinent to mention here that police had arrested the former Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Afzal Khokhar from the Supreme Court registry in Lahore in December 2018 for allegedly illegally occupying a piece of land in the provincial capital.

Afzal was released on post-arrest bail by a judicial magistrate the next day. The Excise and Taxation Department’s director-general on January 3 had provided the asset details of Khokhar brothers to the Anti-Corruption Establishment.

Khokhar brothers have a total of seven properties in the province. The ‘Khokhar Palace’, said the officials, belongs to Afzal Khokhar and Shafi Khokhar.

Read more: Punjab government launches massive assault against illegal construction

According to the FIR, a piece of land measuring 34 marla was purchased from a citizen, Tariq Mehmood, which Khokhar illegally occupied and constructed his residence, Khokhar Palace.

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