SC rejects FIA request to close Asghar Khan case

This court will, in all circumstances, implement its 2012 judgment” says Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed

ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Monday rejected plea of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to close the Asghar Khan case.

Hearing a case of implementation of 2012 verdict in the Asghar Khan case, the top court directed the FIA to submit a fresh report along with the original affidavits and statements recorded by the inquiry committee, in a sealed envelope.

The FIA submitted: “The inquiry committee interviewed journalists Habib Akram and Mujeebur Rehman Shami, and other key witnesses like Brig (r) Hamid Saeed Akhtar and Advocate Yousaf Memon.

“It conducted scrutiny of cover accounts and reached the conclusion that no sufficient evidence could be found to enable this case for further prosecution and trial in the court of law.”

Declaring the report incomplete, the apex court ordered the agency to submit a fresh report within four weeks.

Heading the three-judge bench, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed: “This court will, in all circumstances, implement its 2012 judgement on a complaint filed in 1996 on the letter of Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan.”

Top court seeks fresh report in 4 weeks

In the letter, it was alleged the army “doled out millions of rupees to buy loyalties of politicians and public figures to manipulate and manoeuvre the 1990 general elections against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)”.

The judge said the 2012 judgement had issued directions to the FIA to initiate legal proceedings against the politicians who received ‘donations’ for electioneering in 1990.

Justice Saeed added the original statements with the FIA’s inquiry committee would not be made public and these would help establish missing links.

Advocate Salman Akram Raja, counsel for heirs of Asghar Khan, told the bench that Brig (r) Hamid Saeed was “sector in-charge of the Military Intelligence (MI) in Karachi and he conceded that six accounts were opened for dolling out the amount”.

He said the link had not been established in the FIA report as to who disbursed the amount. Justice Saeed observed that establishing the link was the job of the FIA inquiry committee. “Should the case be closed if one party denies the allegations of receiving money?” Justice Saeed asked.

Justice Saeed asked whether Brig (r) Hamid Saeed said about the source of disbursement of amount.

The bench was informed that it has to be determined yet as to how the money was disbursed because receiver is denying it. The counsel representing FIA however conceded that the question as to how and through whom the amount was disbursed was not asked.

Raja contended that a joint account was operated by Colonel (r) Ali Akbar and Brig (r) Hamid Saeed. “Akbar is available and he could be asked as to how the amount was disbursed.”

Justice Saeed remarked that it is a simple issue and if anyone has conceded disbursement of amount then it is an evidence to proceed further.

The FIA director general in compliance with the court order of April 2 constituted a committee under FIA additional director general Mujeebur Rehman Khan to carry out further inquiries.

Directors Mujahid Akbar Khan, Syed Fareed Ali and Deputy Director (Law) Chand Ashraf were members of the committee. 

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