Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday reserved its verdict on the bail plea of former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi convicted in Haj corruption case and is currently confined at Adiala jail.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice (CJ) IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi conducted hearing of bail application moved by Kazmi who wanted his release before Eidul Fitr and reserved his judgment after hearing the arguments of both sides.

On Wednesday, the IHC bench conducted hearing in two different petitions. One was the main petition where Kazmi has challenged his 16 years imprisonment sentence and in the second petition, he sought his bail in this matter.

Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa, counsel for Kazmi referred to the jail report in his arguments and contended before the court that his client has already served two years and four months sentence.

He added that if IHC bench accept his client’s acquittal application at a later stage then Kazmi would be having no remedy for the sentence he served in jail without any justification.

The counsel continued that Kazmi has been punished for his supervisory role. This fits into a context that a clerk of a prime minister house if commits a mistake, you would punish the prime minister.

He maintained that the former federal minister was not involved in hiring buildings and there were no allegations against him for kickbacks.

From prosecution side, FIA Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar said that Hamid Saeed Kazmi had been on a visit to Saudi Arabi where he examined the arrangements. The court of special judge central found him guilty on the account of approving under construction buildings without washrooms and that too in connivance with his front man Ahmed Faiz.

The FIA prosecutor also submitted Kazmi photos with Ahmed Faiz in Saudi Arabia.

He informed the court that  Kazmi gave a loss of Rs1.0888 billion to the treasury. The Saudi government after became aware of the situation itself returned Rs5000/- to Pakistani pilgrims and Kazmi had no role in it.

Hamid Saeed had moved his criminal appeal against the special judge central (SJC)’s decision dated June 3, 2016, through his counsel Sardar Lateef Khosa Advocate and has nominated state as respondent.

The former PPP federal minister contended in his appeal that none of the prosecution witnesses have insinuated him with any malfeasance and his conviction is based on fanciful, arbitrary, capricious and absolutely conjectural hypothesis.

Kazmi argued that according to the prosecution’s own version, the appellant Kazmi being minister had supervisory role but nothing to do with the hiring of buildings and making payments of rents to the building owners yet the trial court proceeded to hold appellant guilty.

He adopted that the conclusion of trial court was based on suppositions and a consequence of misreading or non-reading of the facts. The rent payment of the under construction building was contingent upon completion and rent amount was retrieved through checks and no embezzlement of funds had taken place.

 He maintained that this is a case of no evidence and sentence by the trial court is violation of his fundamental rights. Not a single prosecution witness uttered any word against the petitioner regarding kickbacks or commission and there is no such evidence on record to prove this offence.

He added that the role of hiring buildings for pilgrims was to be performed by a 7 members committee and the petitioner had no role whatsoever.

Kazmi stated that his name was not in the FIR but he was implicated due to political rivalry. He further said that learned trial court while convicting the petitioner seemed to be influenced by the media trial.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside his sentence awarded by the judge of SJC court.