Islamabad High Court acquits former religious affairs minister in Hajj corruption case

A special court on March 3rd, 2016, had sentenced Hamid Saeed Kazmi to 16 years in prison

Rizwan Shehzad March 20, 2017
A special court on March 3rd, 2016, had sentenced Hamid Saeed Kazmi to 16 years in prison. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) hearing the Hajj corruption case on Monday acquitted former Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Rao Shakeel and Raja Aftabul Islam, suspending an earlier decision of a special trial court that had sentenced them to prison.

Hajj corruption case: Ex-minister Hamid Kazmi handed 16-year jail term

On March 3, 2016, a special court had sentenced Hamid to 16 years in prison. His two ministry lieutenants, former Director General (DG) Hajj Rao Shakeel and former joint secretary of the religious affairs ministry Raja Aftabul Islam, were also jailed for massive irregularities during Hajj operations between 2009 and 2012.

Meanwhile, a fine of around Rs147 million was also levied on each convict, for which failure of payment would result in two additional years in prison.

Along with Kazmi, Raja Aftabul Islam was sentenced to 16 years while Rao Shakeel was sent to 40 years in prison on additional charges.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani of the IHC had accepted applications of the accused in the case against the special court’s decision which it announced today.

Refuting allegations outright, Hamid Saeed Kazmi asks media to help clear his name

The infamous Hajj corruption case surfaced in the year 2010 after the then Science and Technology Minister Azam Khan Swati accused Kazmi of corruption in Hajj affairs.

According to the charge-sheet, the men were indicted for fraud, cheating, misuse of authority and causing losses to the exchequer and the public at large. The men were also accused of renting a substandard building for an exorbitant price to house the pilgrims in Makkah and for receiving kickbacks as well.


Muhammad | 6 years ago | Reply I don't know people why people are disgracing the courts, when the courts convict Kazmi all these people were praising courts and commenting that "Justice Prevails" and now all are saying that Justice system is failed. What a double standards!! And one important thing which is more vital that all those are criticizing Kazmi is belong to opposite school of thought from which Kazmi belongs. This was the scandal, he was media trialed just because he belong to Sufi School of thought and he was speaking against extremists and their followers, on the basis of which all this drama created and impression was built. In Pakistan, all conspiracies created on the basis of sectarian ground because these so called radical and extremist only consider Muslims themselves. This was the only reason why kazmi spent 6 years of his life in prison, because he belong to Sufi School of Thought.
Saleem | 6 years ago | Reply Land of muk-mukka, mitti pao. What a farce!
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