FIA stopped from probing PFF accounts [Dawn]

FIA stopped from probing PFF accounts [Dawn]

by Malik Asad

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday stopped Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from probing the accounts of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), declaring that the agency lacked jurisdiction to do so.

Deciding a petition filed by the PFF against FIA’s raids on its offices and freezing of its accounts, Justice Aamir Farooq observed that since PFF was a private entity and operated under the umbrella of Federation Internationale de Football Association (international football association), it is the domain of FIFA to look into any embezzlement in the PFF.

The counsel for the PFF, Afzal Khan Jadoon, maintained before the court that it was a private body and the interior ministry had no administrative authority over it. The counsel said the inquiry initiated by the FIA was without lawful authority.

The counsel contended that no reason had been provided for the initiation of the inquiry and that the accounts were frozen without a prior notice. He said the PFF maintained several bank accounts and received funding from the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA. Other income sources included sponsorship deals, he added.

PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat and general secretary retired Lt Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi in their petition named the interior secretary, the FIA Islamabad director general and FIA commercial banking circle Lahore SHO Rab Nawaz Sial as the respondents.

They requested the court to declare the inquiry illegal and of no legal effect.

In his argument, deputy attorney general Syed Husnain Ibrahim Kazmi said the petition was not maintainable as the inquiry was being conducted in Lahore and the petitioners should have approached Lahore High Court (LHC).

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2016