The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted transit bail to Zafar Hijazi, the chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), until July 17.

Earlier on Tuesday, when Hijazi submitted a petition seeking bail to the IHC's registrar office, he was told that the high court was not the correct forum and he was advised to approach the Special Judge Central (SJC), the special court of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

However, the petition was forwarded along with the registrar's objection to the court of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani. Granting Hijazi a transit bail, Justice Kiyani ordered him to approach the SJC.

Earlier this week, the FIA registered a criminal case against the SECP chairman for tampering with records related to a company owned by Sharif family.

The joint investigation team (JIT) that had been probing allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family had alleged that the SECP chairman had altered records related to the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

On June 19, the Supreme Court had directed Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali to refer this matter to the FIA.

An investigation team, headed by the FIA’s Maqsoodul Hassan and consisting of three other officials, submitted their report to the Supreme Court (SC) on July 8, which found the chairman guilty of altering the records in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

The FIA submitted the 28-page report to the apex court, endorsing the JIT’s allegation. On Monday, following the submission of the JIT report to the SC, the three-member bench directed the attorney general to ensure the registration of an FIR against Hijazi on the same day.

Rumours started circulating on the electronic media late night and some private TV channels even reported that Hijazi had been removed from the post.

“We have not received any official confirmation in this regard and it will be released as soon as any directive from the finance ministry is received,” a spokesman for the SECP clarified.

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