Islamabad: Kazmi granted protective bail till 21st in Hajj scam
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has told former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi to appear before the trial court in the Hajj scam, besides extending his protective bail till February 21.
Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, however, denied a separate pre-arrest bail application.
When Khurram Lateef Khosa, the counsel for the former minister, told the court that the Lahore High Court had granted his client bail before arrest, which would expire on February 17 (Thursday), and requested further pre–arrest cover for his client.
Justice Kasi observed that he could not grant pre-arrest bail because the case “is pending before the honourable Supreme Court (SC)”.
“Either settle for the protective bail or ask your client to face arrest,” Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi remarked when Khosa persisted.
Hamid Saeed Kazmi subsequently filed a writ petition, challenging his arrest warrants. The court will hear the case on Friday (today).
Meanwhile, the court granted bail to Abdullah Khokhar, the former minister’s brother-in-law, against a surety of Rs200,000.
The counsel for Abdullah Khokhar told the court that his client was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on December 21 on charges of corruption in the 2010 Hajj scam.
He told the court that his client was innocent and the offences against him including under Section 163, 420 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), were all bailable, and requested the court to grant him bail.
Later, talking to the media outside the court premises, Kazmi reiterated that he was innocent and said that he was cooperating with FIA investigators, but the federal agency was trying to malign him.
“I have complete faith in courts. I will defend myself in courts,” Kazmi said.
“It was astonishing to hear about the issuance of my arrest warrants despite the fact that I have regularly been appearing before the courts,” he maintained.