PHC orders release of 44 currency dealers on bail after five days detention


The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday ordered the release of 44 currency dealers detained under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance after the payment of a bail bond.
They’re arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency on the charge of involvement in terrorist financing and anti-state activities by doing the illegal hundi-hawala business.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Nasir Mehfooz suspended different orders issued by the Peshawar deputy commissioner under the MPO and asked the detainees to furnish two surety bonds of Rs200,000 each for release.
It issued an order in that respect after holding preliminary hearing into a petition jointly filed by the suspects held by the FIA on Sept 15 during raids on shops of currency dealers at Chowk Yadgar and Karkhano Market of Peshawar. The detainees challenged detention orders issued by the DC.
The bench fixed Oct 9 for next hearing into the petition.
The FIA has claimed that it had recovered notes including those of several countries to the tune of around Rs25 million from the dealers in a crackdown launched to meet the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has placed Pakistan on the grey list for terrorist financing.
However, instead of registering cases against them under the relevant laws, the dealers were detained under Section 3 of MPO for 30 days.
The DC in his orders said it appeared to him through an official letter of the FIA director sent on Sept 14 that certain groups based in Peshawar were involved in business of the illegal ‘hundi-hawala’ business through which a huge amount of money was being transacted without following proper channel.
He added that the money in question was being used for terrorist financing and anti-state activities including financial support to local and foreign criminals to sabotage peaceful atmosphere of the district through such parallel and unlawful banking system.
The DC said it had been reliably learnt that the detainees were planning to stage agitation against the campaign of the government against ‘hundi-hawala’ and money laundering related business.
A panel of lawyers including Shabir Hussain Gigyani, Syed Abdul Fayyaz, Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik and Barrister Amirullah appeared for the petitioners and said the deputy commissioner had overstepped his powers under the MPO and had issued detention orders of their clients on flimsy grounds.
They said the DC had not ‘applied his independent mind and instead issued stereotyped orders’ under Section 3 of the MPO.
Shabbir Gigyani said the impugned orders were an utter violation of fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
He said in case of any violation of a law, the state agencies were at liberty to register FIRs against the persons at fault but in no way could deprive any citizen of his liberty, freedom of movement and expression and so, the act of the DC violated articles 15, 16, 17 and 19 of the Constitution.
The lawyer said in case of violation of any law or commission of any penal offence, the government could adopt legal recourse but under the garb of MPO any such detention on pretext of prevention was beyond the law.
An additional advocate general said the holy month of Muharram was in progress and the release of the detainees would affect the peaceful atmosphere in the provincial capital.
He added that it was necessary to prevent them from acting in a manner prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of peaceful environment in the district.
The chief justice wondered why cases had not been registered against the detainees under the relevant laws and instead they were detained under the law meant for public order.
The AAG said currently, their major concern was related to maintaining peaceful atmosphere in the month of Muharram and therefore, the DC considered it appropriate to detain them under the MPO.
The FIA had created much hype of these arrests and had claimed that 13 teams of the agency and city police had carried out the operation on the directions of the interior ministry.
It had claimed that the country needed to comply with the FATF’s requirements to avoid adding to the black list.

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South Punjab News : PHC orders release of 44 currency dealers on bail after five days detention
PHC orders release of 44 currency dealers on bail after five days detention
The DC in his orders said it appeared to him through an official letter of the FIA director sent on Sept 14 that certain groups based in Peshawar were involved in business of the illegal ‘hundi-hawala’ business through which a huge amount of money was being transacted without following proper channel.
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LkAUKTdm7W4/W6NTjJ2PD7I/AAAAAAABAhQ/Fu60J4vbA24mS9BLq6q00AHTB7dj0hsSACLcBGAs/s320/dealer.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LkAUKTdm7W4/W6NTjJ2PD7I/AAAAAAABAhQ/Fu60J4vbA24mS9BLq6q00AHTB7dj0hsSACLcBGAs/s72-c/dealer.jpg
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