State land transfer case: Five-year sentence in corruption cases is less, says CJP

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State land transfer case: Five-year sentence in corruption cases is less, says CJP

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khosa said that nowadays the courts are strictly concentrating on taking up corruption related cases and observed that accused in such cases would be strictly proceeded against in accordance with law.

The chief justice was heading a three-member bench of the apex court while hearing the appeals of two convicts, who had transferred state land through fake documents in Karachi.

The court after hearing the arguments of the parties dismissed the appeals. During the course of hearing, the chief justice observed that for corruption cases five years sentence is less, why not the notices be issued to the accused to enhance it.

The court was informed that Khadim Hussain, Attorney-in-fact, along with Mushtaq Ali transferred state land in Malir, Karachi to a private person through fake NOC. Accountability Court had awarded five-year jail imprisonment to both the accused. The Sindh High Court (SHC) had upheld the sentence awarded by the Accountability Court.

The CJP observed that the Attorney-in-fact was the protector of state land, but they transferred 21 acres costly land to a private person. “In such a case, five years sentence is less, as it is awarded to person who are involved in crime like stone pelting or baton charge.”

The NAB counsel informed that through this allotment Rs430 million loss was caused to the national exchequer. Lawyer, representing the accused while arguing before the court pleaded that the transferred land is returned to the state. He requested the court to reduce the sentence as he wanted to withdraw the appeals.

The chief justice said if a thief after being caught returns the money, crime will not end. Khadim Hussain committed crime within five days after he assumed the charge of attorney-in-fact.

“Why not they enhance the sentence and issue notice to the accused,” the CJP remarked. The chief justice said that nowadays the court is taking strict position against the corruption adding that there was time when the courts used to be strict against the crimes like narcotics and terrorism but now this position would remain against the corruption cases in government departments.