A trial court hearing the Hajj corruption case of 2010 reserved its judgement on Wednesday regarding the acquittal of former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi and said the decision will be finalised on May 25.
Special Judge Central Mian Khalid Shabbir put off the hearing after both the defence and prosecution completed their arguments for and against Kazmi’s acquittal.
The Federal investigation Agency’s Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said that Kazmi should not be acquitted without facing trial. However, Kazmi’s counsel Advocate Sardar Naseer Ali, maintained that the committee to hire residences for pilgrims was not constituted by the former religious affairs minister.
The lawyer informed the court that the committee that allegedly hired 87 buildings five kilometres away from Haram Sharif at exorbitant prices and paid 55% as advance was formed by former director general Hajj Rao Shakeel Ahmed and not Kazmi. Advocate Naseer maintained that some 129 other buildings were hired in accordance with the Hajj policy within a radius of 2 and 2.5 km and only 15% advance was paid when Kazmi was the minister for religious affairs.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.