The Supreme Court on Thursday issued the detailed verdict in the Asghar Khan case and stated that although President being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, by issuing directions to Armed Forces or to civilians to make efforts for achieving desired results and if any such illegal order is transmitted, the same is not worthy to be obeyed.
The 141-page verdict is written by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Registrar Supreme Court Dr Faqeer Hussain read out the detailed verdict of the case in a press conference.
In the detailed verdict, SC has stated that Elections of 1990 were rigged; the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, former Army Chief General (R) Aslam Baig and former Director General ISI exercised their power illegally.
It stated that the president is the head of state and it does not suit him to support any group and creating a political cell in the Presidency is illegal.
“Learned Attorney General stated that no State functionary, be he President who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Pakistan, or the Prime Minister, who is the chief executive of the country, or the Federal Ministers, or anyone else is empowered to give illegal orders. No body can violate the Constitution, nobody can rig the elections. Such a duty is not upon anybody in Pakistan, therefore, the President of Pakistan cannot be isolated in this respect, inasmuch as oath of his office is no different to the other oaths prescribed in the Constitution”, it added.
The verdict stated that Younis Habib had confessed to distributing Rs40 million. The secret agencies have no right to make an election cell and the ISI and MI are duty bound to safeguard the borders, it added.
The verdict further said that the elections should be held on time without any fear.
The SC also ordered in the detailed verdict that notices to the Attorney General, DG IB, Publishers, Printers and Reporters of the English daily newspaper on the story complaining that an amount of Rs.270 Million were doled out of IB accounts for the purpose of toppling the Government of Punjab in the year 2008-09.
The SC ordered that the news item may be registered as CMA and after de-linking the same from instant case, be fixed in Court, with notice to the Publishers, Printers and Reporters of the said newspapers as well as DG, IB and the Attorney General for a date after two weeks.
The affidavit submitted by Lt. Gen (R) Asad Durrani is also made part of the verdict in which names of the recipient of money are given. According to the affidavit Rs. 10 million were given to Mir Afzal from N.W.F.P province, Rs. 3.5 million to Nawaz Sharif, Rs 5.6 million to Lt. Gen (R) Rafaqat for media, Rs 5 million to Jamaat e Islami, Rs. 1 million to Abida Hussain, Rs. 0.5 million to Altaf Hussain Qureshi and Mustafa Sadiq and Rs. 3.339 million to smaller groups in Punjab province, Rs. 5 million to Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Rs. 2.5 Muhammad Khan Junejo, Rs. 2 million to Pir Pagara, Rs. 0.3 million to Maulana Salah Ud-Din and Rs. 5.4 million to small groups in Sindh province, while Rs. 1.5 million to Humayun Mari, Rs. 4 million to Jamali, Rs. 1 million to Kakar, Rs. 0.5 million K Baluch, Rs. 0.75 million to Jam Yousaf, Rs. 0.50 to Bazinjo and Rs. 1 million to Nadeem Mengal in Balochistan province.
It is pertinent to mention that a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising of Justice Jawad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, had announced a short order, on Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan’s petition filed in 1996 accusing the ISI of distributing Rs60 million among the politicians to manipulate the general elections of 1990.
Ruling that the 1990 polls were rigged, the SC on October 19 directed the government to take action against former army chief Gen (R) Mirza Aslam Baig and former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen (R) Asad Durrani for violating the Constitution by manipulating the 1990 general elections.
The court ruled that both Asad Durrani and Aslam Baig brought a bad name to Pakistan and its armed forces as well as secret agencies in the eyes of the nation. “Notwithstanding that they may have retired from service, the federal government shall take necessary steps under the Constitution and law against them,” said the short order.
The court also ordered the initiation of legal proceedings against the politicians who allegedly received donations to spend on election campaigns in 1990 and directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to conduct a transparent investigation on the criminal side against all of them and if sufficient evidence was collected, they should be sent for a trial according to the law.
The court ordered that any election cell/political cell in the Presidency or ISI or MI or within their formations be abolished immediately and any letter/notification to the extent of creating any such cell/department (by any name whatsoever, would stand cancelled forthwith).
The court ruled that the late Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the then president, Gen (R) Baig and Lt Gen (R) Durrani acted in violation of the Constitution by facilitating a group of politicians and political parties, etc, to ensure their success against the candidates in the general elections of 1990 for which they secured funds from Younas Habib, former chief executive of now defunct Mehran Bank.
The court ordered that Younas Habib should also be dealt with in the same manner and civil proceedings should also be launched, according to law, against the said persons for the recovery of sums received by them with profit.
The court ruled that an amount of Rs80 million was stated to have been deposited in Account No 313, titled ‘Survey and Construction Group Karachi’ and maintained by MI, therefore, be transferred with profit to the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) with further direction that if the liability of the HBL had not been adjusted so far, otherwise the same might be deposited in the treasury account of the Pakistan government.
The court ruled that general elections held in 1990 was subjected to corruption and corrupt practices as in view of the overwhelming material produced by the parties during hearing in the case, “it has been established that an ‘election cell’ had been created in the Presidency, which was functioning to provide financial assistance to the favored candidates, or a group of political parties to achieve desired result by polluting election process and to deprive the people of Pakistan from being represented by their chosen representatives.”
The court ruled that a president, in parliamentary system of government, being head of the state represented the unity of the republic under Article 41 of the Constitution and as per the oath of his office in all circumstances he would do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.