Lahore court directs FIA,register harassment case against Babar Azam

Sushree Mohanty

A Lahore court has issued directions to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to record a case against Babar Azam, captain of the Pakistan Cricket team, on charges of coercion and harassment.

The complainant, Hamiza Mukhtar, recorded a case with the Investigation Agency accusing Azam of blackmailing and harassment. He also named two other individuals in the matter.

The Lahore-based woman made similar allegations against Azam last year and accused him of sexual harassment. She further asserted that he had forced her to undergo an abortion process and made bogus claims to marry her.

The High Court procedures were suspended after an underlying hearing as Babar was leading the Pakistan Cricket Team against South Africa and then in the PSL (Pakistan Super League), both expecting him to be inside a biosecure bubble.

Subsequently, Mukhtar registered a fresh complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency alleging that she has been receiving unwanted calls and messages from unidentified individuals.

On examination, the Investigation Agency discovered that one of the numbers is registered under Azam’s name – which they allude to as Muhammad Babar.

Azam, who was asked to appear personally by the authorities, failed to show up, and instead his brother, Faisal Azam appeared on his behalf requesting additional time to record the cricketer’s statement.

As per the reports submitted by the Federal Agency, Azam has not appeared before the authorities even once, and therefore they stated that that the “actions shows the guilty nature of the accused.”

Following this, Judge Hamid Hussain issued directions to the Investigation Agency “to investigate further into the matter and for registering an FIR against the accused inside the specified time following the legal conventions”.

Meanwhile, Azam’s family contended that they have not received any summons or orders from the Investigation Agency and will challenge the same before the Lahore High Court.

“The Honorable High Court in a similar matter has effectively restrained the police from filing an FIR,” Azam’s Advocate, Barrister Haris Azmat said.

“The present request has been passed without giving a notification to Babar infringing upon his fundamental rights as ensured in the constitution. The request is therefore illegal and will be challenged soon,” he added.

Previously, the Lahore High Court had issued a stay order on the session’s court to decide to document a case against Azam Babar on Hamza’s complaint.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has not issued any statements on the matter.

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