islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday accepted two separate petitions filed by former director general Haj Rao Shakeel and former joint secretary ministry of Religious Affairs Aftabul Islam Raja seeking their release on bail in Haj corruption case.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi had conducted hearing of both the petitions of the former DG Haj Rao Shakeel and former joint secretary Aftabul Islam and directed them to deposit surety bonds equivalent to the value of fine amount which is around Rs150 million.

It was June 3, when Rao Shakeel was awarded 40 years imprisonment sentence with a fine amounting Rs150.396 million in Haj corruption case.

The former DG Haj moved his appeal against the special judge central (SJC)’s decision through his counsel Misbah-ul-Hassan advocate and made state as respondent.

The petitioner contended in his appeal that none of the prosecution witnesses have uttered any word against him regarding kickbacks or commission and there is no such evidence on record to prove this offence.

Advocate Qazi Misbah ul Hassan counsel for the petitioner argued before the court that ends of justice were not met in the decision given by the trial court.

He added that the case against Rao Shakeel is not proved from statement of any witness and it seems as if case has been registered against his client on mala fide intent and political basis.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside his client’s sentence awarded by an SJC court.

Aftabul Islam Raja had also challenged his sentence awarded to him by the court of special judge central on June 3, 2016.

He was arrested for his role in Haj corruption case on December 22, 2010. He was a co-accused with former director general (DG) Haj Rao Shakeel and former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi.

During the last hearing, authorities of Adiala Jail had submitted jail report before the IHC bench regarding the imprisonment sentence to the former joint secretary of the ministry of religious affairs.

According to the jail report, Aftabul Islam has completed his sentence on July 9, 2016 but he is undergoing sentence due to non-payment of Rs148.3976 million fine. In this report, it was also said that the convict underwent a sentence of 3 years, 10 months and 22 days while he was given a remission of two years in his sentence.