Benazir murder case: For fair probe, Malik should step down, says SC

Published: April 17, 2012
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“How can a sub-inspector have enough courage to probe someone at the helm of affairs?” questioned the chief justice.

“How can a sub-inspector have enough courage to probe someone at the helm of affairs?” questioned the chief justice.

ISLAMABAD: 

The Supreme Court on Monday advised suspects in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, to step down from public offices so that an independent investigation can take place.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Tariq Pervez and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, also noted that a second FIR needs to be registered as the first did not include names of some of the key suspects such as Rehman Malik.

In this regard, it observed that, as long as high profile suspects hold offices, an independent investigation is not possible. “How can a sub-inspector have enough courage to probe someone at the helm of affairs?” questioned the chief justice.

Questioning the intentions of the PPP-led government, the court noted that Malik and another federal minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, were opposing the registration of a second FIR.

The advice came when Rehman Malik’s counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan sought one week’s time from the court to submit a reply. The chief justice rebutted: “You want to create obstacles in the proceedings? How much longer do you want to linger?”

Chief Justice Chaudhry then told the counsel that Rehman Malik should facilitate an independent probe by appearing before the court himself to clear his position as a suspect.

Mansoor replied that his client was ready to present himself, but the CJ then observed that, at the end of the day, a fair probe was not possible till the accused held the government office. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain noted the trend was that investigation teams were changed to hinder an independent probe.

Justice Tariq Pervez pointed out that Rehman Malik had stated in his written reply submitted to the court that the accused were already in custody and their charge-sheets had been produced before the courts. The bench observed that the reply had also suggested that the case not be heard anymore. The bench raised its concerns about the apathy plaguing the case. “Why did the government not publish the UN report on which Rs60 million of the taxpayers’ money was spent? Why have no steps been taken in light of the report? Why was the murder of an internationally-acclaimed leader not taken up in the assemblies and relevant parliamentary forums?”

It also questioned the intentions of the petitioner, Chaudhry Aslam, the protocol officer of Benazir Bhutto, asking why he had not approached the court earlier.

No counsel appeared on behalf of former law minister Babar Awan. The case was adjourned till April 24.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • shadi
    Apr 17, 2012 - 6:25AM

    excellant point!!

    Recommend

  • Disco
    Apr 17, 2012 - 6:33AM

    Waiting for the day when the Police backs the Judiciary and arrests these criminals, rather than acting as the right hand of political parties.

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  • Blithe
    Apr 17, 2012 - 6:33AM

    If Rehman Malik steps down ,
    who will take care of all the shady deals that
    Zardari needs delivery on.

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  • Blithe
    Apr 17, 2012 - 6:37AM

    Wheeler dealer!
    How will Zardari survive without him!

    Recommend

  • a&a
    Apr 17, 2012 - 6:55AM

    now the SC is playing the dangerous game . . . ???Recommend

  • Limestone
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:01AM

    The SC is the only institution in this country with some sanity left but the PPP supporters will never get what the judges are saying.

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  • MAIDEN
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:09AM

    People who were involved in the killing of the great Benazir Bhutto clearly hold high ranks in the government on both federal and provincial levels… so then how in the world is it possible to investigate them?!

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  • Mirza
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:17AM

    Malik must resign so that the SC does not have any excuse to go back to sleep again on ZAB and BB cases. Otherwise the PCO SC judges would go back to the deep sleep for another few years only to make populist statements. If Bilawal would not have called their inertia on these two cases, they would still be quiet. The PPP leadership should move Malik out of the influential position to another party position if they still want to keep him.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:19AM

    This investigation and many others will be allowed to proceed when Rehman Malik is removed. There are so many cover ups – many others will also need to be removed to allow the truth to properly come out.
    Come on good guys – lets get our country back from these criminals!

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  • Very 1
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:49AM

    Some supreme court! Masters in the art of making headlines.

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  • Syed Hamid Ahmed
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:51AM

    If what CJ is implying is sane and true then I can say that sun rises from west or north. If our Highest Judges relies on such logic then “Pakistan ka Khuda hi Hafiz”. Everyone knows that Taliban murdered Benazir, Gen Musharaff showed little interest in investigation and evidence destroyed. Judges can have this opinion, I can’t believe this! Judges are only interested in giving a bad name to Government no matter they loose their own respect in this useless struggle. But, hey! good ratings for media.

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  • dv sikka
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:59AM

    Operation ‘cover up’ in trouble.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 17, 2012 - 11:11AM

    I have nothing to do with the support of PCO judges against the elected parliament which is supreme. The SC is trying to play politics with the populist slogans and speeches not its decisions. They should mind their own business and leave to politics and wise cracks for the politicians. Pakistan is burning and people are butchered by the hate groups but the SC is playing the proverbial flute.
    Mirza

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  • Apr 17, 2012 - 3:00PM

    It is unbelievable that with evidence such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sEXXM03148 present for all to see, that puts all alleged ones together on cam, why are we delaying this much awaited ruling? If this continues to happen, we have no where to turn to.

    Kamran.

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  • Saad Shibli Asc
    Apr 17, 2012 - 5:31PM

    C.j.Pak has now taken very very important and basic observation. some day before Munawr Hussaim Aamir jamat Islami also express same view. if an independent investigation taken place then actual facts can find out. PPP leader ship always used its wrong in to benefit. when ever state agencies brought the PPP in ruling capcity by tempring election result, nation found corruption culture in govrnment and parliament. Saad Shibli Asc

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