The Supreme Court turned down the bail plea of former religious minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi – the main accused in the Hajj corruption scam – and Joint Secretary Aftab Islam on Tuesday.
The apex court’s decision came amidst a surprising change of events when the government – who is involved in a precarious relationship with the Supreme Court of late – unexpectedly, stepped back from defending Kazmi.
The federation’s lawyer, Additional Attorney General Karim Khan Agha, not only showed relevant pictures to the SC bench – hearing the bail plea of Kazmi and Ahmed Faiz – as evidence of their close ties in the corruption scam, but he also withdrew support from Shagufta Jumani, an MNA of the Pakistan Peoples Party involved in the case.
Agha opposed the bail application of Kazmi and Islam, saying that the government was determined to curb the pest of corruption and will not protect corrupt people under any circumstances.
Kazmi’s counsel contended before the court that an incomplete charge sheet had been filed in the case and no legitimate trail had been initiated so far.
Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani, a member of the bench, remarked that Former Hajj director general (DG) Rao Shakeel was appointed the DG despite the fact that a number of cases were lying pending against him before the accountability court.
Justice Jawad S Khawaja revealed that according to the Hajj policy, accommodation to the pilgrims was to be provided within an area of two kilometres from Haram, a requirement that was not fulfilled. He inquired about Faiz who was appointed the caretaker of pilgrims in Makkah and Madina during the 2010 Hajj.
Agha told the court that Kazmi was the one to issue an official passport to Faiz. He said that investigation into the Hajj scam revealed names of Kazmi and Jamani. Consequently, Justice Khawaja inquired why no action had been taken against Jamani if she was involved in corruption scam.
The court has already issued arrest warrants for Faiz who is accused of being a front man of Kazmi while acquiring costly and ill-equipped residences for the pilgrims in Mecca. Judge Ikhlaq Ahmed directed the FIA to paste posters of Faiz as part of the process of declaring him a proclaimed offender in the case.
The bench rejected the bail application of Kazmi after hearing these arguments and DG FIA was ordered to submit a complete investigation report on the Hajj corruption scam in the next hearing on August 18.
Meanwhile, in the suo motu case of the Hajj corruption scam, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ordered reinstatement of Hussain Asgher as the lead investigator of the scam who was earlier transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan as the inspector general.
Meanwhile the court put off the hearing on the pre-arrest bail plea of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Anjum Aqeel Khan till August 11 after his lawyer did not turn up in court.
(With additional input from MUDASSIR RAJA)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.
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I don't believe this is the same judiciary the people fought for, but then again, it was more like PML-N's propaganda than a sincere act. We never knew then that the same judiciary would act as Pharoah of today. I hope they fall the same way Pharoah did and are taught lesson for all Pakistanis who still think they are on right. Putting innocent behind jail for their own ego. I happened to attend the first few hearings before Mr. Kazmi was arrested. The Chief Justice himself conducted the session by reading articles from newspapers that were written by paid journalists and had no proofs or basis. The behavior of supreme court is not as alarming as the behavior of people commenting here. If all Pakistanis are like this, they all love to blame honest and make fun of them..then i pray to God that they suffer even more than they already have. amin
I am glad that finally the govt is not defending this corrupt mullah. Let us put him where he belongs, jail. This should be a lesson for all mullahs including Mullah Diesal. Let us hope that the independent judiciary does not release him as this case is no more political!
@Seher Siddiqui: your prayers are definitely not accepted because you have wrongfully doubted someone based on nothing...just pray that rest of your prayers are not ignored by Allah because He doesn't like people who believe in lies without confirming them first
@Khan: talk without knowing the facts..this is what u seem to be good at.. blaming someone for a crime without knowing about them is a greater sin than doing the crime itself. so Mr/Ms Khan, better think and learn before putting blames on others
@haroon pacha - Get red red beard and loot the innocent. The people like you will come out in your defense. Go red beard.....
those making fun of red beard should know that this is Holy Prophet's sunnah so enjoy making fun of our religion...coz you don't have any yourself...
Ijaz ul Haq,son of Marde Momim Marde Haq.should also be investigated.As Minister he made 6 Billion Rupees in 4 years,in illegal gratifications.An MNA ,Waraich from Gojra, stated, on the the floor of the house, that if i could not prove his corruption, i will resign.Mard e Momin Mard E Haq,went to the Speaker Amir Hussain and fell on his feet to save him.He would get a cheque of Rs 30,000 for each individual, on the name of Zia Ul Haq Foundation ,in his office,from all Hajj Companies, responsible for sending people on Hajj.Shinwaris and other Pashtuns were the most affected.
maza a gia...yahan log itne bewaqoof bethe hain who don't even know a single thing about the case...'evidences will disappear'!!! lol...bhai pehle koi evidence to le ao phir disappear karne ka sochen.. multan ke 4 kanal ke ghar ko dikhate hain jis ki construction 1999 main shuru hui aur kazmi shb jis main 2006 main shift huay.. it's funny to read comments from ignorant people like above who know how to talk even without any knowledge about what they're saying. pakistanis ki yehi khas khubi hai, innocents pe ilzam laga ke khush hote hain...khud andar se mayle hote hain
Red beard made off with millions! Look for a sequel near you; "Thieves of Pakistan; revenge of the Red beard.
@Mohammed+Abbasi: Any one who has his beard treated with mehndi has to be innocent and pure....
Unfortunately I have a feeling that he will be let off after the election. They will drag the case as long as possible. He will be out and there are enough mindless zombies around in Pakistan who will vote for him again.
He is INNOCENT because of the beard!
He deserves the jail.Dont let him out!!!
What will happen : Evidence will disappear, the prosecution will fail to put up a credible case and the judge will release him. The government will praise the independence of the judiciary and the people will be left dumbfounded.
@Much Amused: It is time he should start singing
Court should decide the cases as early as possible. Confinement is humiliation and torture not punishment. no one should be confined, If he is a guilty then he must pay the whole fraudulent amount and some penalty and after some flogs he should be released. And this should be the case with everyone. I am against confinement.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of pakistani atomic bomb, is reported to have declared Kazmi to be innocent, still his bail petition has been rejected. The gentle man having religious back ground, is behind the bar for misappropriating only a few millions rupees. ASTONISHING:
i hope all the above people who commented with their eyes closed stay blind for the rest of their lives. pakistan does not deserve an honest politician like Mr. Kazmi, because this is how honest people are treated in this country. the hajj scam sessions are not made public for the reason that this whole case is a big joke on the face of Supreme Court of Pakistan, and if public knows how sessions are actually conducted, trust on SC and CJ will be lifted forever. no proofs have been presented in front of the judges yet...even the so called 'meeting with Ahmad Faiz' was a simple photo of Mr Kazmi with random people in Saudia while he himself was personally touring the buildings and listening to people's complaints...something never done by any such minister in history. but sadly enough...pakistan is full of people with no mentality at all. who don't 'do' just 'talk'..but then again those who 'do' good for the country end up like our former minister of religious affairs and hajj so who should be blamed?
well he should be put behind the bars for unlimited time ...he did corrutpiton with hajiz...He should tell the names of all the people invovled in it....
Sooner or later he will start singing. That will be the downfall of some of the other mightier than the law personalities. I say keep him in jail like an ordinary prisoner. The heat and dirt will do the trick and he will confess.
The stoning of the Devil (the jamarat), is suppose to have a moral for us in our daily lives. Even, if we have not been to Mecca and done the Ramy al-Jamarat. And, for one who has done the Hajj, not to abide by that moral ... well, what words can convey the disbelief?
very gud, culprits should remain behind the bar with bars behind them.