Court reserves verdict on Shahid Masood’s bail plea in PTV case


–FIA tells court no evidence of corruption found against former PTV chairman


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict in a bail plea of TV anchorperson and former Pakistan Television (PTV) chairman Dr Shahid Masood in relation to a corruption case pertaining to the state television.

On November 23, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had arrested Masood from the premises of IHC after his bail plea was rejected in the case. The next day, the court had remanded Masood in the FIA’s custody for five days. He was later sent to Adiala Jail on judicial remand.

As Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the case, he was told by the state television’s counsel that Masood is in jail, while the co-accused are out on bail and returning the embezzled money.

The court was told that suspect Kashif Rabbani has returned Rs10.3 million while another co-accused Roshan Mustafa Gilani has returned Rs0.8 million. To which, the judge inquired if they were given bail on merit or after returning the money they owed PTV. The counsel replied that the bail was not given on merit.

FIA officials also told the court that the investigation in the case has been completed, however, a challan is yet to be issued. They added that the investigators could not find any evidence against Masood to prove that he took the money and there is no witness statement to corroborate that either.

The court then reserved its decision on the anchorperson’s bail plea.

Masood, who was appointed the PTV chairman in the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), had signed an agreement with a fake company to negotiate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for grant of rights for coverage of cricket matches played in Pakistan.

He was involved in embezzlement of around Rs37 million from PTV as he negotiated with PCB for media rights and granted them to a fake catering company, the FIA said.