Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa thinks that five years in jail is too short a sentence for government officials convicted of corruption.
This sentence is handed to those who have beaten up and injured someone using sticks and stones, he remarked. The top judge was hearing the appeal of two government officials, Mukhtar Khadim Hussain and Mushtaq Ali, who have been convicted by an accountability court of obtaining a fake NOC and illegally allotting 21 acres of government land in Malir.
The NAB lawyer said that the illegal allotment caused a loss of Rs430 million to the national treasury.
Their lawyer said that piece of land has now been handed over to the government. The court should accept their appeals and reduce their sentences, he said.
Justice Khosa remarked that Hussain illegally allotted the land five days after becoming its caretaker. “Why don’t we increase his sentence instead?”
Hussain was supposed to look after the government land. “Those who were supposed to protect the land allotted it to someone else,” the top judge added. Courts have taken a strict stance against corruption in public institutions. Previously, they took such a harsh stance in cases of contraband and terrorism, he remarked.
Hussain and Ali were sentenced to five years in prison by an accountability court. The Sindh High Court maintained their sentence. Their appeals now have been rejected by the top court too.