ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court refused to grant bail to former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon and others allegedly involved in a Rs5.76 billion advertisement scam.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, resumed hearing appeals against the Sindh High Court (SHC) verdict, rejecting post-arrest bails in the corruption reference.
After hearing arguments of counsels for three days, the apex court allowed the accused to withdraw their bail petitions. The court maintained that they could apply for bails in the high court on fresh grounds.
SHC seeks NAB's arguments on Sharjeel Memon's bail petition
Similarly, they could also approach the high court to grant bail on medical ground. Their petitions were, however, disposed of.
The bench observed that there was no provision of bail in the NAB law, but parliament could amend the law.
While observing that it was not possible to conclude trial of a person booked under accountability laws within 30 days.
Justice Khosa also said that no minister could think of doing anything illegal if the secretary of his department chose to resist.
“Pakistan ran perfectly fine as long as bright, experienced and courageous bureaucrats were serving the country,” he said.
The Supreme Court was hearing a case of embezzlement in awarding Sindh government advertisements to electronic media.
According to the NAB reference, an investigation was conducted in the corruption reference and corrupt practices were found in the award of advertisements to television and FM radio channels. Between July 2013 and June 2015, an amount of Rs5.76 billion was paid to seven advertisement agencies.
Sharjeel Memon case: Lawyer directed to argue whether bail possible on medical grounds
The reference stated that Memon illegally approved the release of official advertisements to the electronic media through pre-qualified advertising agencies without the completion of the due process.
The investigation showed that the advertising agencies paid lower prices to TV channels and claimed far higher amounts, even though they were entitled to just 15 per cent agency commissions against the total bill.
Sardar Latif Khosa appeared on behalf of Memon, but despite arguing for three days, he was unable to convince the bench to grant the bail. Subsequently, he withdrew the petition. Similarly, other accused also preferred to withdraw their petitions.
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