Hajj corruption case: Kazmi’s bail plea dismissed
ISLAMABAD: Former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi will spend Eid in Adiala Jail as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed his bail application on Monday.
The IHC Chief Justice, Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, dismissed the former minister’s bail plea terming it “devoid of merits.”
“No illegality could be observed at this stage on the surface of the impugned judgment,” he stated.
On June 3, the Special Court (Central) judge, Malik Nazir Ahmad, had awarded six years imprisonment each on two counts to Kazmi, the then Director-General (Hajj), Rao Shakeel, and former joint secretary of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Raja Aftabul Islam, and imposed a fine of approximately Rs147.4 million each.
In the verdict, the court observed that the role of the accused was almost identical.
Their commission and omission with the sequence of prosecution story has so “entwined that none could be isolated from the rest,” the order read.
“Moreover, appeal has been filed recently and applicant has not yet undergone substantive portion of the sentence. In view of the above, application being devoid of merit is dismissed,” Justice Kasi stated in the order.
On June 29, the court had reserved verdict on Kazmi’s application seeking release from prison before Eid in the Hajj corruption case.
The court had reserved verdict after Kazmi’s counsel, Sardar Latif Khosa, and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) concluded arguments over bail application.
Despite dismissal of the application “Suspension of Conviction” till the final decision of the case, both the parties will continue to argue over Kazmi’s main petition challenging six-year-imprisonment sentence on two counts in the Hajj corruption case.
He has prayed before the court to set aside the sentence.
While referring to the jail report revealing a total period of imprisonment, Khosa had argued that Kazmi had already spent two years and four months there and would serve the remaining period if not acquitted by the court.
He had argued that if the court set asides special court’s order then there would be no remedy available for him for the time already spent in jail.
Khosa argued that Kazmi had no role in obtaining buildings on rent for the pilgrims and there was no allegation of receiving commission or kickbacks on him.