ISLAMABD -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday granted protective bail to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sharjeel Memon in a corruption case.

The IHC Division Bench (DB) comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani granted bail to Memon and directed him to submit two surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

The court granted the bail till April 5th to the PPP leader who is allegedly involved in Rs5 billion corruption scandal of awarding advertisements to the print and electronic media under an awareness campaign as minister for information of Sindh. Memon, in response to a query put forward by a journalist outside the courtroom, said that there was “law of the jungle” and the federal interior minister was “behind all these cases”.

Memon has nominated Cabinet Division and NAB chairman as respondents in his petition stating that he fears arrest and implications in a false case where no inquiry is pending against him and no call up notices have been issued.

Therefore, he had prayed before the court to direct the respondents to desist from fishing and roving enquiries with the liberty of the petitioner in any manner and grant him anticipatory/protective bail to reach the concerned court of law.  Memon also requested the court that the respondents might be directed not to arrest him. In the court, he was flanked by two senior attorneys and former chairmen Senate Farooq H Naek and Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari.  Besides, Sindh Minister for Transport Syed Nasir Hussain Shah was also present.

NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzzaffar strongly opposed protective bail to Memon but the IHC bench turned down his plea saying that this was just a protective bail and you cannot argue this on merit. The NAB prosecutor contended that the former provincial minister was a proclaimed offender and could not claim normal rights. He also questioned Memon's affidavit attached with his petition where the petitioner said that this was his first petition.

The NAB prosecutor informed the court that Memon had applied for a protective bail on March 6th before a Lahore High Court (LHC) bench that rejected his plea. Given this, it is now settled that Memon concealed facts from the IHC and did not mention that one of his application was already turned down by an LHC bench. At this juncture, the bench observed that when a person wants to surrender himself before a court of law, he is no more a proclaimed offender.

The court said that a protective bail was not heard on merits, it was just a facility extended to the accused to reach the concerned court of law.  Accused wants to surrender before the court and courts always encourage the people who want to face legal course of action.

Then, the NAB prosecutor argued that the accused did not join investigation and inquiry remained pending as he was a fugitive for two and half years.

The bench observed that “we will not examine this case under Section 497 as it is just a protective bail.”

Naek, the counsel for Memon adopted before the court that this court had already granted protective bails to Khalid Hamyun Langove and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Talking to the media after getting bail from the court, Memon said that he was thankful to the court and it was easy for him to stay outside the country and avoid legal proceedings but he wanted to fight legal war.

He said that all those cases were formed to victimise him politically on behest of the interior n