KARACHI: Former petroleum Minister and close aide of ex President Asif Ali Zardari Dr Asim Hussain has been granted bail.
The Sindh High Court on Wednesday approved the bail plea of former petroleum minster Dr Asim Hussain in the corruption cases against him.
The SHC’s referee judge on March 20th had reserved his judgement. The referee judge had to be appointed after a split verdict by an SHC division bench on the bail issue.
The SHC chief justice had appointed Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar as a referee judge to decide the bail applications following split judgement.
One judge had dismissed the bail with directives to the trial court to conclude the trial within four months. Another member of the bench had granted him bail but placed a ban on his travelling abroad.
Dr Asim, a close aide of former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, faces corruption references pertaining to land fraud amounting to Rs9.5 billion, money laundering of Rs3 billion, and misuse of authority and criminal breach of trust through a fertiliser scam of Rs450 billion.
NAB had also accused him of illegally awarding gas contracts to a privately-managed gas processing company, Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited, to process gas from government-owned gas fields without an open auction, causing a loss of Rs17.338 billion to the national exchequer.
The referee judge reserved the order after hearing the closing arguments of the counsel for the petitioner and NAB.
Justice Syed Mohammad Farooq Shah, who was head of the SHC division bench earlier, had dismissed the bail applications of Dr Asim in corruption reference and observed that perusal of the record revealed that offence committed by the accused person was a crime against society as whole, in connection with the public offices and he is not involved in any ordinary criminal matter.