ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on Friday, sought the progress report on the inquiry against the military officers who allegedly distributed millions of rupees to buy loyalties of politicians and public figures to manipulate the 1990 elections.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar dismissed Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) recommendation to wrap up case proceedings and to not implement the 2012 Asghar Khan verdict due to a lack of evidence.
“How can we close down a case related to the implementation of the apex court’s order?” asked the top judge. “A verdict was issued but the authorities did not implement it. We must investigate the matter.”
Justice Nisar remarked that the bench was advised to distance a ‘few individuals’ from the case. “There will be no case if we do so. We will not let Asghar Khan’s efforts go in vain. The FIA did not even take his family into confidence before recommending that the case should be closed.”
Justice Nisar stated that the bench will direct the concerned authorities to look into the matter if the FIA lacked mandate. The chief justice was also irked by the lack of details about the military trial against intelligence officials. “There are two separate trials; one in military courts against army officials and one in this court. How can a conclusion be reached in such a scenario?” he observed.
“The cabinet informed us of the trial in the military court but we are still unaware about the proceedings. Do not think that military officials are above the judicial process. I want to tell them that they fall under our mandate as well,” said Justice Nisar.
The apex court sent a notice to the defence secretary, seeking a report on the progress of the trial against military officials within one week. The bench also sought a reply from the FIA in the petition submitted by Asghar Khan’s family. The hearing has been adjourned till January 25.
Reflecting on the 2012 verdict, Justice Nisar reminisced it was one of the biggest cases. “The verdicts in the Asghar Khan and Aasia Bibi cases are historic judgments,” added Asghar Khan’s counsel Salman Akram Raja.