Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa acknowledged on Tuesday that any person who has been find guilty for corruption will have to pay their fine “even if they are dead”.
Justice Khosa made these statements during the hearing of a case relating to a sentence awarded to a former government employee who had been found guilty of keeping assets beyond known means. He said that previous Supreme Court verdict states that if anyone found guilty of corruption will have to pay the fine, even if they serve extra time in prison.
Justice Khosa explained, “The extra time served in prison is punishment for not paying the fine.”
The chief justice added, “The money [looted through corruption] must be returned even if the person [who is guilty of corruption] is dead”
A cashier in Quetta district commissioner’s office Mohammad Kaleem Bhatti, had assets value more than Rs1.9 million beyond his known means of income.
Balochistan High Court (BHC) prisoned him for five years and charged with a fine of Rs15m by a trial court.
Bhatti chose to serve two years in prison so he can avoid paying the fine. The high court, in a later verdict, stated that since he had served additional time in prison, he did not have to pay the fine and returned his properties that were earlier seized.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had confronted the verdict in the top court. During today’s hearing, the chief justice said that the BHC had misunderstood the judgment by the SC.
Bhatti argued that he had already served seven years in prison.
Justice Khosa asked, “After serving seven years in jail, have your properties [bought by money earned through corruption] become legal?”
The chief justice concluded, “Fine will have to be paid even if the prison sentence has been served.”