Pak should follow example of Indian court martial: Chaudhry

Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Jan 29 (PTI) Pakistan should follow theexample of the court martial of a serving army general inIndia and take action to prevent the misuse of power bygovernment officials, Supreme Court Chief Justice IftikharChaudhry has said.

Chaudhry made the observation while hearing a suo motucase about an alleged fake gun battle by police at Daska inPunjab province a year ago.

Taking a cue from the court martial of the servinggeneral in India, he said Pakistan should follow thisprecedent and bring to justice those responsible for theincident in Daska.

"In India, a three-star general was convicted and ifhere, a few responsible (officials) are taken to the task, itwill put things on the right path," Chaudhry remarked duringthe hearing yesterday.

"Why don''t a few top guns in our country get bookedfor their wrongdoings?

It''s high time that some heads roll," he said.

The fake gun battle, in which a youth was gunned down,was followed by the suspension or sacking of 16 low-rankingpolice officials. Police later said in an inquiry report thata compromise was made with relatives of the dead youth.

The apex court rejected the report and observed thatthe responsible officials were left untouched. The four-judgebench headed by Chaudhry, in its order, directed the PunjabPolice chief to take personal interest in the matter insteadof saving the skin of officials.

Lt Gen P K Rath, a former Deputy Chief of ArmyStaff-designate of the Indian Army, was recently found guiltyof involvement in a land scam after an eight-month-long courtmartial.

His seniority was reduced by 15 years for pensionbenefits and he also forfeited two years of seniority.

The conviction of the serving Indian Army generalreceived widespread coverage in the Pakistani media, whichsaid the incident should serve as an example for the country,where no action has been taken against military officerslinked to various corruption scandals.

The apex court expressed its disapproval for themethods adopted by Punjab Police to reduce crime and observedthat incidents such as the killing of the youth in a fake gunbattle were part of a culture of slaying people withindemnity.

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