The case hadn’t been registered by the FIA yet as Babar’s legal team had obtained a stay order
The Lahore High Court has suspended last week’s order by a sessions court that had directed Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to file a case against Babar Azam on charges of blackmail and harassment.
This, after Haris Azmat, Azam’s counsel, told the court that the earlier judgment had been passed without the court having heard the cricketer’s point of view on the matter. In any case, the case had never been registered by the FIA, as Azam’s legal team had obtained a stay order against any such move.
All parties involved – Azam, Hamiza Mukhtar, who had filed the complaint against Azam, and the FIA – have been given two weeks’ time to respond.
Mukhtar had initiated the case last year ahead of Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand. She held a press conference in which she alleged that the Pakistan captain had harassed and exploited her. She had approached a court at the time, and the court in question had directed the police to investigate the matter.
The sessions court had subsequently directed the police to register a case and investigate Azam within the boundaries of the law, as it felt the allegations were disturbing and warranted a full investigation.
That case, too, had never been registered, as Azam’s legal team had managed to secure a stay order from the Lahore High Court, and the proceedings were adjourned as Azam was playing against South Africa first and then in the PSL, both requiring him to be inside a bio-secure bubble. He is presently preparing for a tour of Africa to play South Africa and Zimbabwe.
After that, however, Mukhtar filed a complaint with the FIA, alleging that she had received threatening phone calls and messages from unidentified people. On investigation, the FIA found one of the numbers to be registered in the name of Azam – referred to as Muhammad Babar. Azam was summoned to appear before the agency but didn’t. In his place, his brother Faisal Azam appeared, asking for more time.
In their original report, once Azam didn’t appear, the FIA had concluded: “This shows guilty form [sic] his part.” Judge Hamid Hussain last Thursday directed the FIA “to proceed further with respect to registration of the FIR against the culprits within the stipulated time following legal formalities”.
Azam has so far not commented on the matter – the PCB has also maintained silence on it – but did say last week, “It is in court and my lawyer is handling it. We face all sorts of hurdles in life and I am used to it. This issue has not affected my form or cricket.”
Source Link : https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/babar-azam-sexual-harassment-case-lahore-high-court-suspends-order-to-fia-1256177
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