RAWALPINDI - Special Judge Central (SJC) Mian Khalid Shabbir on Wednesday reserved the decision on the acquittal plea of former Federal Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi in Haj scam. The decision is likely to be announced on May 25th.
An application under section 265-K of Criminal Procedure Code has been filed by Sardar Naseer Ali advocate for release of former Federal Minister pleading that the committee to hire residences for pilgrims was not formed by his client.
The defence counsel argued that Kazmi was innocent.
He said that the committee that allegedly got 87 buildings on rent 5 km away from Haram Sharif at inflated prices and paid 55 per cent as advance was constituted by former Director General (DG) Haj Rao Shakeel Ahmed not by Hamid Saeed Kazmi.
The court was apprised by Naseer Ali that some 129 other buildings were hired in accordance with Haj policy within the radius of 2 to 2.5 km and only 15 per cent advance was paid when his client was also the then Minister.
He argued before the court that the prosecution has failed to appreciate the fact before the court.
He while countering the statements of former Federal Minister Azam Swati, said that his allegations had already been proved baseless in the Supreme Court.
The defence lawyer also said that the two witnesses Maulana Wahab and Maulana Faheem had denied that they held a meeting alongwith former cricketer Inzamam ul-Haq with Hamid Saeed Kazmi to obtain Haj visas by bribing.
Advocate Naseer said FIA had cited the statement of former DG Haj Shahid Khan that Kazmi demanded 50 to 100 Riyals for every Haji but later the DG said that the Minister only opined that such amount could only be earned for national exchequer.
About the allegations that some 7098 seats were left vacant during balloting for Haj in 2009, the lawyer said that no specific orders in this regard had been provided by the investigators.
‘When the balloting was carried out the Minister was under treatment after he came under attack in Islamabad’, the lawyer added.
Naseer argued before the court that Hamid Saeed Kazmi did not appoint Ahmed Fiaz, a Proclaimed Offender (PO) in Haj scam, as supervisor to hire buildings for pilgrims.
Countering the arguments, FIA Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar said that SCP did not grant bail to Hamid Saeed Kazmi despite hearing all of the arguments of the defence counsel.
He told the court that Ahmed Fiaz was given the special official passport following the directions of former Federal Minister for Religious Affairs. He argued that SCP dismissed the bail plea of former Addl Secretary for Religious Affairs Raja Aftab-ul-Islam and ordered the trial court to end the trial within 3 months.
FIA Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar said that following the directions of SCP, the trial court should record the statements of prosecution and defence witnesses and wind up the case instead of acquitting Hamid Saeed Kazmi without trying him in Haj scam.