KARACHI - Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday granted bail to former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain on medical grounds in two corruption references worth Rs479 billion.

Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar of the SHC accepted bail applications of the former petroleum minister in corruption cases.

The SHC’s referee judge approved the bail on medical grounds, after having reserved his judgement on March 20.

SHC chief justice had appointed Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar as a referee judge to decide the bail applications, following a split verdict by an SHC division bench on the bail issue in February this year.

Dr Asim, a close aide of former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, faces corruption references filed by NAB of Rs479 billion.

His lawyer, Anwar Mansoor Khan, had informed the judges that his client’s health condition was worsening and he required complete rest and medical treatment. Dr Asim is currently undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases.

On August 2015, the former petroleum minister was detained during a raid at Higher Education Commission office in Clifton area over alleged embezzlement.

It is to be mentioned here that Dr Asim is facing different corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in accountability court while a terror case in anti-terrorism court (ATC) is also pending against him.

One of the references alleges Dr Asim of doing Rs462 billion corruption while the other of Rs17 billion. He is accused of concealing assets, granting illegal allotments, land grabbing, misuse of authority, fraud and giving illegal contracts during his tenure in Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL).

Besides SSGPL reference, the NAB is pursuing money laundering case against the former federal minister.  Informally talking to media after the court order, Dr Asim Hussain said he was feeling better. He was looking happy and smiling during the interaction with media.