Asghar Khan case: Govt withdraws review petition against SC verdict

Says doesn’t want to press previous administration’s plea


Hasnaat Malik April 09, 2015
Says doesn’t want to press previous administration’s plea. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:


The federal government withdrew on Wednesday a review petition filed against the Supreme Court’s October 19, 2012 verdict in the Asghar Khan case.


The apex court’s verdict advocates action against top former military officers who had doled out millions of rupees to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s rival politicians in the 1990 elections.

On June 16, 1996, Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan had written to the then chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, mentioning names of politicians who had received money in 1990.

The then PPP-led government had filed a review petition against the court’s remarks against the role of president in the Asghar Khan case judgement.

The decision had ruled that the individual holding the president’s post would violate the constitution if he or she failed to treat all people equally and with demonstrating favour for someone in particular.

The then federal government had stated in its review plea that the office of the president is a political office, and emphasised that the president is eligible for re-election under Article 44 and, hence, he must maintain a rapport with the people and the media.

The plea stated that the president cannot be aloof from political activity and cannot function unless he engages with all political stakeholders in the country.

Additional Attorney General Muhammad Waqar Rana appeared on Wednesday before a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, and said the present government does not want to press the review petition. The bench allowed the request.

Meanwhile, former spymaster Asad Durrani again sought time to engage counsel in his case. The hearing has been adjourned for a month.

Former army chief Aslam Beg and ex-ISI chief Asad Durrani had also filed review pleas against the apex court’s verdict, wherein the federal government was directed to take action against Beg and Durrani.

The judgment stated that their acts have brought a bad name to Pakistan and its armed forces as well as the secret agencies in the eyes of the nation.

The top court had also declared that legal proceedings shall be initiated against the politicians who had allegedly received donations to spend on election campaigns in the 1990 polls.

A transparent criminal investigation is to be initiated against them by the FIA and if sufficient evidence is collected, they shall stand trial.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2015. 

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