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Pak should follow example of Indian court martial

Islamabad: Pakistan should follow the example of the court martial of a serving army general in India and take action to prevent the misuse of power by government officials, Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has said.

Chaudhry made the observation while hearing a suo motu case about an alleged fake gun battle by police at Daska in Punjab province a year ago.

Taking a cue from the court martial of the serving general in India, he said Pakistan should follow this precedent and bring to justice those responsible for the incident in Daska.

"In India, a three-star general was convicted and if here, a few responsible (officials) are taken to the task, it will put things on the right path," Chaudhry remarked during the hearing on Friday.

"Why don`t a few top guns in our country get booked for 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-ranking police officials. Police later said in an inquiry report that a compromise was made with relatives of the dead youth.

The apex court rejected the report and observed that the responsible officials were left untouched. The four-judge bench headed by Chaudhry, in its order, directed the Punjab Police chief to take personal interest in the matter instead of saving the skin of officials.

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

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

The conviction of the serving Indian Army general received widespread coverage in the Pakistani media, which said the incident should serve as an example for the country, where no action has been taken against military officers linked to various corruption scandals.

The apex court expressed its disapproval for the methods adopted by Punjab Police to reduce crime and observed that incidents such as the killing of the youth in a fake gun battle were part of a culture of slaying people with indemnity.

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