SHC dismisses Sharjeel, others post-arrest bail pleas in Rs5.76bn corruption case

Karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday turned down post-arrest bail applications of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) lawmaker Sharjeel Inam Memon and others in Rs5.76billion corruption case.

Sharjeel, along with the officials of a private advertising agency Inam Akbar, Riaz Munir, Mohammad Hanif, Asim Amir Khan Sikandar and others is being tried in the reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The SHC bench pronounced its verdict that was reserved a week earlier after lawyers of all sides concluded their arguments.

The bench threw out the bail pleas of Sharjeel, Umar Shehzad, Gulzar Ali, Zulfiqar Shalwani, Sarang Latif Chandio, Salman Mansoor and other accused.

The accused persons had filed bail after arrest applications before the high court after their interim pre-arrest bails were revoked by the SHC and they were arrested on October 23 last year.

Sharjeel through his counsel Sardar Latif Khosa submitted that he was suffering from serous disease but had not been provided due medical facilities in the prison. The lawyer requested the court to grant him a bail on medical grounds, maintaining that the medical board had advised him disc replacement surgery.

On the other hand, the NAB prosecutor opposed the bail pleas and contended that there were sufficient evidences of corruption in the provincial information department and the case was being tried in the Accountability Court. The corruption watchdog prayed to the court to turn down bail applications.

The bureau had maintained that the accused persons in connivance with each other had caused billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer through ‘embezzling’ in the Sindh information department’s electronic campaign.

According to NAB, the PPP lawmaker and 17 others, in connivance with each other, had caused Rs 5.76 billion loss to the national exchequer through the embezzlement in the Sindh government’s advertisement campaign on electronic media.

The bureau said in its reference filed in the Accountability Court that the investigation was conducted regarding corruption and corrupt practices in the advertisement awareness campaigns on TV and FM channels between July 2013 and June 2015 and it was found that the accused acted in connivance with each other resulting in loss to the national exchequer.