KARACHI: Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) was appointed on Friday as the referee judge to decide on the bail applications of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain in corruption cases.
Judicial sources told The Express Tribune that SHC Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah appointed Justice Gorar to examine the split judgment and decide the matter.
Dr Asim faces two corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for allegedly depriving the public exchequer of Rs462 million by misusing his authority.
A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Farooq Shah and Muhammad Karim Khan Agha, had, on February 2, given a split judgment in the matter.
Split judgment given in Dr Asim’s bail plea
Justice Agha granted bail to Dr Asim subject to furnishing a surety of Rs2.5 million in each case and a bond of the same amount to the satisfaction of the court nazir. Also directing the applicant to deposit his original passport with the nazir, the judge further directed the interior ministry not to issue him a fresh passport until further orders and to place his name on the Exit Control List.
Justice Agha had observed that allowing someone to remain confined for years, despite the fact that confinement was hazardous to his life as proper and adequate treatment was not available in jail, could lead him to being physically or mentally impaired permanently.
SHC questions maintainability of plea against Dr Asim’s detention
However, Justice Shah rejected the bail applications, observing that the prosecution indeed had succeeded in establishing a case of dismissal of the bail plea under provisions of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, and within ambits of Section 497(i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. “The applicant [was] provided excellent treatment and hospitalisation on [the] recommendation of [the] medical board.”