ISLAMABAD - Supreme Court Monday directed authorities to release former chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) Dr Shahid Masood on bail against deposit of Rs500,000 surety bonds.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Manzoor Ahmed granted bail to the anchor person in PTV corruption case after going through the arguments at length. During course of proceeding, Dr Masood’s counsel pleaded that Kashif Rabbani, Fawad Shabbir and Roshan Gilani were also accused in the case but they were on bail, then why not my client could be released on bail.
He alleged that Dr Masood was a bold analyst and positively criticised the then government in his programmes, which was the main reason behind this trial. He said name of Dr Masood was not in the investigation report earlier but later on added.
Islamabad High Court rejected Dr Masood’s bail application without examining the facts of the case and not followed the rules and regulations while rejecting it, he argued.
Additional Attorney General on bench query informed that accused was neither mentioned in the first information report registered in December 15, 2015, nor in the interim challan submitted earlier.
He said till now it was not established that Dr Masood or his any relative had any link with the companies in question.
The bench observed that three other suspects in the case had already been granted bail by the trail court then why not to Dr Masood and accepted the bail application.
It may be added that FIA had arrested Masood from the premises of the IHC on November 23, after his bail plea had been rejected in the PTV corruption case. The anchorperson was later sent to Adiala Jail on judicial remand.
Masood, who was appointed PTV chairman in the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party, is accused of signing an agreement with a fake company to negotiate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for grant of rights for coverage of cricket matches played in Pakistan.
Masood was involved in embezzlement of around Rs37 million from PTV as he negotiated with PCB for media rights and granted them to a fake catering company, according to FIA.