Rawalpindi: Hajj corruption: judgement in Kazmi’s petition reserved
RAWALPINDI: Special Judge Central (FIA) Khalid Shabbir on Wednesday reserved judgment till May 25 (Friday) in identical petitions of former minister for Religious Affairs Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi, seeking acquittal from the Hajj corruption case being innocent. Accused Hamid Saeed Kazmi, former director general (Hajj) Rao Shakeel and former joint secretary (Hajj) Aftab–ul–Islam Raja appeared before the court. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted its report in the Hajj corruption case before the court, saying that it found no evidence against Hamid Saeed Kazmi. Whereas, the FIA declared Rao Shakeel ‘main accused’ and Aftab–ul–Islam Raja ‘co-accused’ in hiring residential buildings for Pakistani Hujjaj at exorbitant rates in 2009.
According to the report, the accused paid 55 percent rent of the 87 acquired buildings in advance, while under the set procedure it was to be paid at the rate of 15 per cent. Besides, they hired some under construction buildings, which created more difficulties for Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Sardar Naseer Sagheer, Counsel for Kazmi pleaded that his client was wrongly involved in the corruption case, which was evident from the findings of FIA that it found no embezzlement on part of the former minister.
He said the investigation team also examined the bank accounts of Kazmi and found no illegal money and transactions.
He argued that the ministry hired 129 residential buildings for accommodation of Pakistani Hujjaj in Saudi Arabia at cheaper rates and its credit should also go to Kazmi, if he is being implicated in acquiring 87 buildings at higher rates.
Judge Khalid Shabbir issued contempt of court notice to Deputy Director of FIA Naveed Tareen for not submitting challan of the case timely.