Pakistan captain Babar Azam has found himself in legal trouble ahead of the impending South Africa tour, as a Lahore court has directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to file a case against Azam on charges of blackmail and harassment.
These charges were filed by one Hamiza Mukhtar, who had alleged that Babar Azam had harassed and exploited her last year, during a press conference. She also approached the court which then directed the police to investigate and report the matter to them.
That case was never registered, however, as Azam’s legal team secured a stay order from the Lahore High Court – both the original direction and Thursday’s have been made by the lower sessions court. As Azam was leading the Pakistan team against South Africa and then playing in the PSL, which required him to remain inside bio-bubble, the High Court proceedings were adjourned after an initial hearing until March 22.
Babar Azam Not Appearing This Shows Guilty On Babar Azam’s Part: FIA In Their Original Report
In meantime, Mukhtar filed a complaint with FIA – Pakistan’s federal investigating body – alleging that she had received threatening phone calls and messages from unidentified people. FIA found that one of the numbers used was registered in Babar Azam’s name. He was summoned to appear but Azam failed to do so, while his brother Faisal Azam appeared in his place and requested more time.
FIA concluded that Babar Azam not appearing for hearing indicated something amiss in their report. Judge Hamid Hussain on Thursday directed the FIA “to proceed further with respect to registration of the FIR against the culprits within the stipulated time following legal formalities”.
Meanwhile, Azam’s family has claimed that they didn’t receive any summons from FIA. As per Cricinfo reports, they will once again approach the Lahore High Court.
“The Honourable High Court in a connected case has already restrained the police from registering the FIR. Azam’s legal counsel Barrister Haris Azmat said. “The instant order has been passed without issuing a notice to Babar in violation of his fundamental rights of fair trial as guaranteed in the constitution. The order is prima facie against the law and will be assailed soon,” Azam’s legal counsel Barrister Haris Azmat said.
Babar Azam is slated to lead Pakistan on a tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.