The Supreme Court rejected on Monday a plea challenging the forced termination from service of a Pakistan Rangers intelligence official accused of collecting bribes from facilitators of terrorists, associated with a banned outfit, in connection with the kidnapping of Islamia College University, Peshawar, vice chancellor Ajmal Khan.
A divisional bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, was hearing the plea at the SC Karachi Registry.
During the hearing, petitioner Inspector Ajmal Ali's counsel maintained that his client admits he collected the bribe but the intention behind the act was to expose a corrupt official.
If the court considers this statement to be true, then tell the court who Ali took into confidence while doing so, remarked the CJP at the petitioner's counsel's claims.
The counsel maintained that Ali released an accused, Moosa, who was a facilitator in the kidnapping of Khan, in exchange of Rs90,000 in order to trap him.
The case is clear so don't tell fictional stories the court, remarked Justice Amin. "Are you saying that Ali was working as a double agent?" asked Justice Amin.
CJP Ahmed remarked that bribery is not acceptable under any circumstances and observed that the accused official should have taken his superiors into confidence if he wanted to trap Moosa.
The court rejected the plea challenge Ali's sacking.
In another case involving a member of the paramilitary force, the same bench dismissed a plea challenging the forced termination of a Rangers official for interfering in a civilian matter.
The petitioner's counsel maintained that his client, Hawaldar Ramzan, had complained about water theft done by other officials. The counsel argued that Ramzan was dismissed over this complaint under allegations of misconduct. He moved the court to restore the terminated Rangers official on his post.
Addressing the petitioner, CJP Ahmed remarked that the petitioner had admitted the charges against him during the inquiry and the evidence he is presenting does not match the facts.
The bench dismissed the plea challenging the forced dismissal of Hawaldar Ramzan.
Separately, the divisional bench issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan and other parties over a plea pertaining to the appointment of retired judges in the ECP.
Petitioner Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin has maintained in the plea that judges and government officials cannot serve on another official post for two years after their retirement.
He contended that Justice (Retd) Shakeel Ahmed, Justice (Retd) Irshad Qaiser, Justice (Retd) Altaf Ibrahim, and a government official, Abdul Ghaffar, have been appointed as ECP members from Balochistan, Peshawar, Lahore and Sindh, respectively, but their appointment in the ECP immediately after retirement is illegal.
The plea moved the court to declare their appointments as ECP members illegal and take back the privileges they enjoy as ECP members.
The court issued notices to ECP and other parties, seeking their replies by February.
'Illegal occupation of SU land'
The divisional bench, headed by the CJP, issued notices to the Federal Board of Revenue and other parties over a plea in relation to illegal occupation of 16 acres of Sindh University's land.
Advocate Khawaja Naveed maintained before the court that illegal ways were used to acquire ownership of the land. He informed the court that a circuit court had disposed of the plea due to the absence of the petitioner's counsel, who was infected by the dengue virus.
CJP Ahmed directed that the parties should ensure their presence before the court at the next hearing. The court issued notices to FBR and other relevant authorities directing them to submit their replies.
Dismissed over 'corruption'
Meanwhile, the bench rejected a plea challenging the sacking of a former senior accountant over allegations of committing corruption of over Rs70 million in the education department.
The petitioner's counsel maintained that his client, Irfan Ahmed Sheikh, served at the post of a senior accountant in the education department in Thatta district. The counsel argued that the ID through which the money was transferred was in the use of every official. The counsel contended that facts were ignored during the inquiry conducted against his client.
The counsel prayed the court to nullify the decision of Sheikh's forced termination from service.
Don't we know what happens in governmental accounts, remarked CJP Ahmed. The CJP observed that this was a case of just Rs70m but even Rs7 billion is easily misappropriated.
The court rejected Sheikh's plea challenging his forced termination from work.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2020.