Sharjeel Inam Memon, former provincial information minister now in self-imposed exile, was on Thursday granted pre-arrest bail by the Sindh High Court in a case pertaining to illegal allotment of state land.

A two-judge bench headed Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto gave the former minister pre-arrest bail in the sum of Rs2 million in the case that pertained to illegal allotment and adjustment of land in 43 dehs.

The bench also extended his pre-arrest bail till Nov 14 in another corruption case against Mr Memon, who was represented by Advocate Dr Faiz Ali Shah.

The bench observed that the former information minister was earlier given almost one month time to surrender before the trial court, but he had failed to turn up.

“Under these circumstances, we consider it appropriate that we grant him the protective bail until Nov 14 subject to furnishing of solvent surety in sum of Rs2 million,” the order said.

Meanwhile, the court directed him to show up before the Nazir of the court before his bail ceased to have effect and deposit his original passport. Mr Memon, who is living in London, moved the court through his counsel seeking pre-arrest bail in connection with an investigation launched by the NAB into illegal allotment and adjustment of land in 43 dehs of Malir in favour of Bahria Town.

His counsel submitted that the NAB had issued a call-up notice to his client on Oct 18, asking him to appear before it in connection with the investigation into the state land matter. He said Mr Memon wanted to appear before it and face the investigation but he apprehended that he would be arrested unlawfully.

In the second petition of Mr Memon, his lawyer submitted that his client was granted interim bail by the SHC on Oct 10 to surrender before the trial court and face charges of corruption in the award of advertisements.

But, he said, owing to his ailment and subsequent appointments with doctors he could not return to the country.

The counsel submitted that Mr Memon intended to surrender before the trial court but he was apprehensive of his arrest in the NAB reference since the bail would cease to have effect on Nov 7 and he was scheduled to fly back home on Nov 29. He asked the court to extend his bail in the case till Dec 1 so that he could turn up before the relevant court.