PHC refuses to grant interim bail to former K-P minister

Former K-P mines and mineral minister Ziaullah Afridi was arrested on July 9 for alleged corruption

Noorwali Shah September 02, 2015
A file photo of Ziaullah Afridi. PHOTO: SAMEER RAZIQ/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) refused on Wednesday to grant interim bail to former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) minister for mines and minerals Ziaullah Afridi, who was arrested on July 9 for alleged corruption.

A two-member bench headed by PHC Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Irshad Qaiser refused the bail, and set the hearing date for September 10, along with several others cases where the legality of K-P Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) has been challenged.

Afridi's counsel Barrister Mudasir Ameer said the PHC had already granted him bail in one case related to illegal mining in Nowshera, adding that the commission booked his client in two other cases in Charsadda and Abbottabad.

Read: Former K-P minister Ziaullah Afridi released on bail

Ameer cited Section 36 of the Ehtisab Commission Act 2014, which states that no court could take cognizance unless a reference was filed in court. Similarly, Section 42 (8) says the trial of all cases would be held jointly against any accused, he added.

However, Deputy Prosecutor General Qazi Babar Irshad said new amendments were made in the KPEC Act through which interim bails should not be granted.

Hence, the court refused to release Afridi on interim bail and fixed his cases for hearing on merit on September 10.

On August 24, a division bench of Justice Musarat Hilali and Justice Muhammad Younis Thaheem granted him bail in one case. However, the next day, Ehtesab Court sent the accused to the Peshawar central prison in two other illegal mining scams.

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