IHC issues notices to govt in Kazmi’s appeal against conviction
ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad High Court issued on Wednesday issued notices to the federal government in former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi’s petition challenging 16-year life sentence by the Judge of Special Court (Central) in Hajj Corruption case.
Chief Justiceof the IHC, Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, issued notice to the state after hearing the arguments by Kazmi’s counsel. On June 3, Judge Malik Nazir Ahmad of the special court central had awarded 16 years imprisonment to Kazmi in Hajj corruption case. In his appeal against the special judge central’s decision of June 3, Kazmi through his counsel Sardar Lateef Khosa said that none of the prosecution witnesses had insinuated him with any malfeasance and his conviction is based on fanciful, arbitrary, capricious and absolutely conjectural hypothesis.
According to the prosecution’s own version, the appellant Kazmi being the minister had supervisory role but had nothing to do with the hiring of buildings and making payments of rents to the building owners, yet the trial court proceeded to hold the appellant guilty.
The petitioner said that the conclusion of the trial court was based on suppositions and a consequence of misreading or non-reading of the facts. He said 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. The petitioner further contended that this is a case of no evidence and sentence by the trial court is a violation of his fundamental rights. He said 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.
The petitioner said the role of hiring buildings for pilgrims was to be performed by a seven-member committee and the petitioner had no role whatsoever. The petitioner said his name was not in the FIR but he was implicated due to political rivalry. “The learned trial court while convicting the petitioner seemed to be influenced by the media trial,” the petitioner said.
The petitioner has prayed to the court to set aside his sentence awarded by the Special Judge Central’s court. The IHC registrar office will fix this matter for hearing. IHC Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi after hearing the arguments issued notices to the federal government and adjourned the hearing till date in office.