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Corruption gnawing at state’s foundations SC

Corruption gnawing at state’s foundations: SC

LAHORE: Barely two weeks after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf staged its Raiwind protest over the Panamagate scandal, Imran Khan found himself mobilising his party workers for yet another protest — this time with the added threat of shutting down the federal capital.

The top court has observed that financial corruption is gnawing at the very foundations of the state – and if the menace is not rooted out, the country’s hard-earned independence could be at risk. A two-judge bench of the apex court – comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan – also urged lower courts to avoid reducing sentences of convicts involved in corruption and instead award maximum punishment in such crimes.

Corruption case: Court extends bail of former steel mills chief

The court made the observations in a judgment in a case in which it rejected an appeal of a former revenue officer, Muhammad Akram Baloch, against the May 16 order of the Lahore High Court’s Bahawalpur bench.

Akram was accused of demanding a bribe from Sajid Mehmood for the transfer of 30 kanals and seven marlas of agricultural land in Bahawalpur in the name of his wife and other relatives in August 21, 2013. Although Mehmood initially paid Rs144,000 but when he went to receive the documents of the transfer deeds, the revenue officer demanded more money in bribe.

Later, Mehmood submitted a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Department of Punjab which forwarded the same to the district sessions judge, Bahawalpur. The district judge directed the concerned civil judge to conduct a raid and submit a report. During the raid, the officer was caught red-handed with the marked money, which Mehmood had paid as the second installment.

Corruption case: Court extends bail of former steel mills chief

Akram challenged the decision in the LHC. The court reduced his sentence, as a result of which he was released from prison, but the apex court observed that the high court should have not reduced the punishment.

The order stated that showing leniency or compassion towards convicts in corruption cases has the potential of stigmatising the entire judicial system of the country. Reducing the sentence of a corrupt person will be tantamount to fortifying and strengthening this menace, the bench stated.

The court also expressed concern over the prosecution department for not challenging the LHC order regarding the reduction in sentence.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2016.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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