Asghar Khan case: SC takes vital decision ringing alarm bells

Asghar Khan case: SC takes vital decision ringing alarm bells

ISLAMABAD – The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that no delay will be observed in the hearing of review petitions filed against the verdict of Asghar Khan Case.

The apex court took up the review petitions on Monday as Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for former air chief, Asghar Khan, appeared before a three-member bench headed by the top judge.

The Chief Justice asked Raja to brief the bench over the case, following which the top judge summoned Mirza Aslam Baig, the former army chief, on the rostrum.

Upon this, Mirza replied that he got to know of the proceedings a day earlier and was thus unable to prepare for the case, pleading that the case should be adjourned. General (r) Mirza Aslam Beg

However, the Chief Justice observed that the matter will not be adjourned.

Afterwards, the counsel for the former ISI chief, Gen Asad Durrani requested the court to delay the hearing for later today.

Chief Justice Nisar then adjourned the hearing till 2:30 pm today.

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 Khandoled out Rs 140 million among few individuals to thwart the bid of Pakistan People’s Party, secure victory in the 1990 elections. Asghar Khan

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.

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