SC gives June 8 deadline for Asghar to resume Haj corruption probe


The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave authorities a deadline of June 8 to recall Hussain Asghar to investigate the Haj corruption case. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the case. Asghar had been tasked to investigate the Haj corruption case, and is currently serving as the inspector general of police for Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). During the hearing, the court said that it would be a violation of its orders if Asghar was not brought back to the probe. Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the court that orders calling for Asghar’s transfer had been issued, but that he did not want to return.
He said that GB Chief Minister Mehdi Shah also did not want to relieve Asghar. The court expressed its displeasure, saying that by not relieving Asghar, Shah was ridiculing the court, and that Asghar must follow the directives of the prime minister. The court reiterated that its rulings should be implemented; adding that, if Asghar does not return for the investigation, it would be a violation of the court’s order as well as the government’s directives. The federation has the authority to recall officials from the provinces, the court said. A man from the forces cannot violate discipline without someone’s backing, the court said, adding that Asghar should have been suspended and his salary should have been withheld as a disciplinary measure after his refusal to return. The attorney general asked how Asghar could be suspended without having been given a chance to explain himself. The chief justice said that as per rules, the opportunity to explain oneself was given only once the official concerned was suspended. The attorney general requested the court for more time to recall Asghar on which the court said that the official must return to his previous position by June 8.