The former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi will spend Eid with inmates in Adiala jail as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed his bail application on Monday. IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi dismissed the former minister’s bail plea terming it devoid of merits. “No illegality could be observed at this stage on the surface of the impugned judgment,” he stated.

On Wednesday, Islamabad High Court reserved a verdict on Kazmi’s bail plea, wherein he had sought bail in view of the approaching Eid.

In the plea, Kazmi’s counsel Latif Khosa Kazmi had contended that the former minister had no role in hiring buildings for the pilgrims and there was no charge against him of receiving commission or kickbacks.

Hajj corruption case: Verdict on Kazmi’s bail plea reserved

On June 3, a special court hearing the case sentenced former religious affairs minister to 16 years in prison. His two ministry lieutenants were also jailed for massive irregularities during Hajj operations between 2009 and 2012.

Judge Malik Nazir Ahmad had also imposed a fine of around Rs147 million on each convict, who will have to serve additional two years in jail on failure to pay the penalty.

Hajj corruption case: Ex-minister Hamid Kazmi handed 16-year jail term

The scandal had surfaced in 2010 after then science and technology minister Azam Khan Swati, accused Kazmi of corruption in Hajj affairs.

According to the charge-sheet, the men were indicted for fraud, cheating, misuse of authority and causing losses to the exchequer and the public at large. The men were also accused of hiring a substandard building on an exorbitant rent for housing the pilgrims in Makkah and receiving kickbacks as well.