ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday rejected bail plea of former Director General Haj of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Rao Shakeel Ahmed, the main accused in Haj corruption case.
IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi heard bail petition filed by accused. Advocate Ahsan Uddin Sheikh, counsel for accused, pleaded bail for his client on statuary ground.
Under statuary ground, if the trial is not completed within one year accused become entitled for bail , however, FIA prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfiqar objected to the bail plea and informed the court that trial of the accused was at final stage.
During the course of hearing, Shakeel’s counsel argued that his client has been detained for last two years and that the prosecution is responsible for the delay in the case.
However, FIA prosecutor told the court that case was lingering on due to delaying tactics used by the accused.
He apprised the court that that so far over 30 times accused had sought adjournments of hearing. “A trial court had granted bail to Hamid Saeed Kazmi - former Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, who was also accused in Haj corruption case -so my client too should be given bail ,” Shakeel’s lawyer pleaded.
He contended that under the law of consistency after granting bail to an accused, the court may accept the bail plea of other accused involved in the same case. On the other hand, FIA special prosecutor told the court that nature of offences against Shakeel and former Minister were different.
The prosecutor also informed the court that he has moved a petition in the court of Special Judge Central Rawalpindi for the cancellation of Hamid Saeed Kazmi’s bail . And court would take up this case on March 14th.
He told the court that Shakeel was booked for fraud, cheating, misuse of authority, and causing loss to the national exchequer and the public at large by embezzling 40 lakh Saudi Riyals while hiring 87 building for Pakistani pilgrims.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the Chief Justice of IHC rejected bail plea of the accused. Later on while talking to this correspondent, FIA prosecutor said that trial against the accused had reached a critical stage because the court had examined about 47 witnesses out of 53 witnesses.