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First Practice Then Preach, says Supreme Court

Pakistan on 03 July 2013
Location : Islamabad, Pakistan | Source : Pakistan Today. Image Source: Pakistan Today

SLAMABAD - The Supreme Court (SC) has observed that those imparting lesson of abidance of laws to others were themselves defying the law.

The remarks came as a three-member SC bench presided over by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the National Police Foundation (NPF) case on Tuesday.

The CJP remarked, “Poor policemen are laying down their lives, while police high-ups have formed a nexus and purchased all of the foundation’s plots and started a business. Neither any advertisement was given nor were the people informed. The police officers exchanged views behind the scene and purchased plots in NPF. The poor policemen are still facing hardships to acquire a roof to live under. No transparency is there, even the green areas were destroyed. Parks were also changed into plots of choice. Poor police employees were entitled to these plots but police officers having ranks of IG, DIG and SSP took advantage. They have no repentance of having encroached upon the right of the poor employees.”

All the concerned officers and lawyers appeared before the court during the course of hearing of case. Ali Zafar said the real issue was that of Anjum Aqil Khan and that was known well. The CJP remarked, “Tell us if the real issue is Anjum Aqil Khan in your sight or the police officers who acquired more than one plot. Can police officers get plots for their children? Have they so much resources that they can acquire plots like these despite being salaried persons. The IG, DIG, DSP and all officers reaped massive benefits.” Ali Zafar said he was appearing on behalf of 17 applicants. “There are a total of 11 families on whose behalf I will give arguments.” Justice Ejaz remarked, “The government had provided Rs 20 million and these plots were not carved out of your money. No advertisement was given and plots were allotted quietly to police officers who the police foundation wanted to favour.” The CJP said they would have to see transparency. Justice Ejaz remarked that the bench’s concern was why advertisement was not carried in this regard.

“It is not in the knowledge of any police officer. You applied through backdoor and a plot was allotted to you and your wife. No plots were allocated for police personnel from lower cadre.” Ali Zafar said he had got the plot through transparency. The CJP remarked, “You filed 17 applications but you have not attached advertisement with any one. No proper record including sources of income has been attached with the applications.” Justice Ejaz remarked, “You want to imply that transparency in practice in 1989 was of a different kind from today?” Zafar said every plot had a different kind of transparency and it conformed to the prevailing situation. The CJP reprimanded Zafar, saying he was not answering the questions.

After hearing the arguments of lawyers, the court reserved its judgment.

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