SC scraps Sharjeel Memon’s bail plea

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ISLAMABAD : The Supreme Court refused to grant bail to former information minister Sharjeel Memon and others on Thursday for their alleged involvement in Rs5.76 billion advertisement scam.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, resumed hearing on the petitions filed by the former provincial minister and allowed the accused to withdraw their bail petitions after hearing arguments from the counsels.

The top court clarified that the accused may apply for bail in the high court on fresh grounds.

The apex court is hearing a case of embezzlement in awarding advertisements to electronic media regarding the Sindh government’s public awareness campaigns.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sharjeel Inaam Memon, Inam Akbar, Muhammed Yousuf Kabooro, Asim Hameed Khan Sikandar, Basharat Mirza and Iqbal Z Ahmed are also among the accused in the corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau.

According to the NAB reference, the investigation was conducted regarding corrupt practices in the award of advertisements between July 2013 and June 2015, for which an amount of Rs5.76 billion was paid to seven advertisement agencies.

It was alleged by the accountability watchdog that advertising agencies suppressed invoices issued by the media and showed much higher amounts, while as per settled practice, advertising agencies were entitled to get only 15 percent agency commission against the total bill.

The reference filed by National Accountability Bureau said that Evernew Concepts (Pvt) Ltd was paid Rs4,154,585,676, Orient Communication Rs320,062,994, Adarts Karachi Rs317,338,970, Connect Marketing Rs310,474,132, Value Added Marketing Rs205,827,587, Xnine Communications Rs374,546,739 and Insync Advertisement was paid Rs83, 643,668.

Memon, who served as Sindh information minister till 2015, returned to Pakistan in March this year after ending his nearly two-year-long self-imposed exile and was indicted in February by an accountability court.

Orignally published by INP

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