Supreme Court allows in-camera briefing in Asghar Khan case

01:28 PM | 25 Sep, 2018
Supreme Court allows in-camera briefing in Asghar Khan case
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ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court allowed on Tuesday the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to give an in-camera briefing in Asghar Khan case.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar resumed the hearing pertaining to the execution of the implementation of the judgment in the Asghar Khan case.

During the hearing, Director General FIA Bashir Memon informed the bench that he wanted to apprise the court about some facts pertaining to the case separately. He requested the court to hold an in-camera session.

Approving the request, the top judge remarked that all facts should be made public as no institution is above the law.

Asghar Khan Case

Filed by former air chief, Asghar Khan, the case in question is one of the most talked about cases in the judicial history of Pakistan. It also gives a glimpse about the civil-military relations and the role played by the military establishment in the political domain.

Air Marshal Asghar Khan, in his petition filed in 1996, claimed that two senior army officers and then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan doled out Rs 140 million among few individuals to thwart the bid of Pakistan People’s Party, secure victory in the 1990 elections.

The petition was filed when Justice Nasim Hassan Shah was the Chief Justice, however, the verdict came after a span of 16 years on October 19, 2012 when the apex court issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (retd) Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Durrani, however, nothing substantial was done in this regard.

The 2012 apex court judgment, authored by the then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence is found against the former army officers.

Asghar Khan, who passed away in January this year, was represented in the Supreme Court by renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja.

Interestingly, the federal government had filed a review petition in 2012 when Asif Ali Zardari was the president, however, it was taken back.

Among the politicians accused of receiving money, the most noticeable is Nawaz Sharif, the former premier of Pakistan, who, according to the affidavit submitted by Asad Durrani got Rs 3.5 million.

Asghar Khan Case Verdict

On October 19, 2012, a Supreme Court bench headed by a former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), Iftikhar Chaudhry, directed the then PPP government to take action against the former military officials for doling Rs140 million to politicians in order to ensure the defeat of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto in the elections.

The Federal Investigation Agency had also been tasked with investigating the matter against the politicians, including embattled Sharif, who had allegedly received the money to run election campaigns. It was also ordered to recover the distributed amount from the accused politicians with profit.

Later, Beg and Durrani had later filed a review petition against the verdict, while these petitions were turned down by the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. However, both military officials refused the findings of the court in the case.