A special court in Islamabad on Monday granted 5-day interim bail to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman Muhammad Zafar Hijazi, who faces charges of tampering with the records of Sharif family’s companies.
According to Express News, the SECP chairman was granted interim pre-arrest bail until July 21 by Special Court Central, Islamabad. Earlier, Hijazi was granted a transitory bail till July 17 by the Islamabad High Court against surety bonds of Rs10,000.
While granting the transitory bail till July 17, IHC’s Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had advised the SECP head to approach the appropriate forum – the Special Court Central. The bail request was submitted by Hijaz’s counsel, Sheikh Zameer Hussain, who cited his 64-year-old client’s medical condition including a kidney transplant and diabetes mellitus type-2 that would make his detention injurious to his health.
The joint investigation team (JIT) – probing into Sharif family’s offshore assets in line with the apex court’s April 20 verdict in Panamagae case – had earlier alleged that the SECP tampered with records of the sugar mills.
The Supreme Court three-judge special bench – overseeing implementation of the Panamagate verdict – had later directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the allegation and Hijazi and some other senior SECP officers appeared in this connection before a four-member FIA team last week.
A news report claimed that investigations into alleged money laundering by Chaudhry Sugar Mills was closed in 2013 but it did not reflect in files of the SECP and that later in 2016 the SECP chairman Hijazi forced his subordinates to tamper old files to show closure of inquiry in backdates, that is, in 2013.