The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the government to suspend Gilgit-Baltistan’s Inspector General of Police Hussain Asghar for not obeying orders of the bench hearing the 2010 Hajj scandal.
Asghar was previously heading the investigation team probing the financial scam and was asked to report back to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headquarters, where he was earlier serving as the director general. He, however, failed to do so despite repeated orders.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry maintained strict action should be taken against Asghar for flouting the court’s orders and questioned why the notification regarding his suspension was not issued earlier.
Earlier, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said there would be no compromise over the prestige of the court and voiced concern over how an officer could continuously ignore the federal government’s orders.
Justice Jawwad Khawaja also expressed dissatisfaction, questioning how the government could ensure the supremacy of Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act if orders were defied so blatantly.
In his reply, Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir asked the court to summon Asghar and serve him the notification personally. Qadir added he has appointed Federal Secretary for National Regulations and Services Imtiaz Inayat Elahi as an inquiry officer to initiate departmental proceedings against Hussain Asghar.
The court has ordered the government to suspend Asghar a number of times before. Principal secretary to the prime minister Khushnood Lashari had also assured the court earlier that Asghar’s services would be suspended if he did not report back to FIA headquarters immediately.
Asghar is said to have collected important evidence against the accused in the Hajj scam in which billions of rupees were misappropriated. He was deputed as an officer on special duty after his transfer from the FIA was cancelled.
The case has been adjourned till July 19.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2012.