Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday granted bail to Raja Aftabul Islam, former joint secretary of the ministry of religious affairs, who had been arrested for his alleged involvement in Hajj corruption scandal.
Chief Justice IHC, Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, granted post-arrest bail to the accused against surety bonds worth Rs 10 million.
In his verdict, Justice Kasi also directed Aftab to surrender his passport and get prior permission before going abroad.
In this scam, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had arrested Raja Aftab on December 9, 2010 for his alleged involvement in the Hajj corruption case that is still pending before the trial court.
Former joint secretary Aftabul Islam was a co-accused with former Director General (DG) Hajj, Rao Shakeel.
There were allegations against the former DG Hajj that he allegedly hired 87 buildings in Makkah for pilgrims at higher prices and while violating rules paid 50 per cent rent of the buildings in advance in 2010. Previously it was a practice to pay 15 per cent advance for the rented buildings.
Previously, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also granted post arrest bail to Rao Shakeel against the same amount of surety bonds in September last.
The IHC bench directed Aftabul Islam to surrender his passport before the FIA and directed him not to travel abroad. However, the court ruled that Raja with the permission of the trial court could go abroad.
The IHC single bench said that the accused would ensure his presence before the trial court and his bail would stand cancelled if he remained absent from the court on two consecutive hearings.
Meanwhile, in another matter Justice Athar Minallah issued notices to the Pakistan Sports Board, president Pakistan Football Federation Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat and President Islamabad Football Federation Dr Fazlur Rehman after a petitioner adopted before the court that the aforementioned two persons had been functioning despite the lapse of their tenure.
The counsel for the petitioner argued before the court that the Supreme Court through an order in 2012 had stipulated a time period for holding a post and Pakistan Sports Board had not implemented the said order. Despite the fact that Faisal and Dr Fazl have completed time period for their tenures, they were still functioning.
The bench directed the respondents to submit their replies in this matter within two week and adjourned hearing for further proceedings.