ISLAMABAD: A court on Tuesday granted bail to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman Muhammad Zafar Hijazi, who faces charges of tampering with the records of the Sharif family’s companies.
While granting the transitory bail till July 17, Islamabad High Court’s Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani advised Hijazi to approach the appropriate forum – the Special Court Central. The bail was granted against surety bonds of Rs10,000.
The bail request was submitted by Hijaz’s counsel, Sheikh Zameer Hussain, who cited his 64-year-old client’s medical condition including a kidney transplant and diabetes mellitus type-2 that would make his detention injurious to his health.
In the petition, Hussain said the FIA had not proceeded in the matter as it ought to have, insisting that Hijazi had led the life of an honest and an upright man without any blemish; yet his prestige and dignity had been put at stake.
Through his legal counsel, Hijazi maintained that the case was initiated in the SECP to probe into the affairs of the Chaudhary Sugar Mills [Pvt] Ltd, which was allegedly used as a medium for money laundering by concealing and fraudulent activities in the disguise of a regular and legitimate business.
Hussain reiterated that that the central authorities in UK and financial services authorities were approached for requisite information and a clarification letter was issued to the company in 2011 while proceedings under sections 261 and 263 of the Companies Ordinance were also initiated.
He added that two files – one pertaining to money laundering and the other routine examination – were submitted and the company provided detailed information and documents in 2012 and 2013 which were found to be satisfactory.
The counsel further claimed that the FIA had not looked into the money laundering file and rather taken advantage of the discrepancy attributed to the petitioner with malafide intent as the date mentioned in the routine examination file was an error wrongly attributed to the petitioner.