ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday granted bail to Khawaja Anvar Majeed, Chairman Omni Group of Companies and close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, in the fake bank accounts case. A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin conducted hearing of the bail petition of Anvar Majeed and accepted the same.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) in June last had turned down Anvar Majeed’s bail application in the same case, which pertains to alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees through 29 accounts opened in three banks.

The apex court directed the accused to cooperate with the anti-graft body saying if the accused does not cooperate with the NAB then the bail would be rejected. Anvar Majeed was asked to submit Rs100 million bank guarantees and the passport with the SC Registrar. The court also directed for placing his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed that Anvar Majeed had been in the hospital since the day one and had so far not appeared before NAB officials. “Fifteen investigations and four references have been postponed due to his non-cooperation,” he told.

Justice Mushir Alam said to Majeed not to cause problems in the investigations.

Justice Qazi Amin stated that the accused had a chronic heart disease, adding availing medical treatments was his basic right. However, he said that the accused cannot be permitted to leave the country for treatment.

Munir A. Malik, representing Anwar Majeed contended that his client had been advised to undergo surgery in the United States or the United Kingdom, adding that the co-accused in the case, former president Asif Ali Zardari, was also out on bail.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin said that the accused suffered from a serious heart condition and availing medical treatment was his basic right. However, the judge added that permission could not be given to the accused to travel abroad.

The Federal Investigation Agency had named PPP leader Asif Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Anvar Majeed, his sons and over 10 others as accused in an interim reference filed in a banking court in August 2018.

The FIA Karachi in October 2015 received a tip-off of suspicious intra-bank transactions from the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank, and the United Bank Limited. The profiles of the account holders did not match their earnings/income. FIA authorities suspected that these accounts were being run by the Zardari Group and Omni Group, amongst others.

In June 2018 Supreme Court had taken a suo moto notice of the matter and directed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter. The JIT found that 32 fake bank accounts were being operated by 11 fake entities to launder money from “kickbacks, land grabbing, and large scale misappropriation of public funds.