Corruption Convicts To Pay Fines Even If They Are Dead: CJ Khosa

Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa declared on Tuesday that anyone who has been convicted of corruption must pay their fines. Justice Khosa went ahead with laying emphasis on his remarks and added that the fines shall be paid, ‘even if they are dead’.

He made the comments while hearing of a case pertaining to a former government employee. The employee in question was accused of assets beyond means.

According to Justice Khosa, an earlier Supreme Court verdict stated that anyone guilty of corruption will have to pay the fine, even if they serve additional time in prison.

Dawn quoted Justice Khosa as saying, "The extra time served in prison is punishment for not paying the fine," "The money [looted through corruption] must be returned even if the person [who is guilty of corruption] is dead."

The accused in the hearing was Muhammad Kaleem Bhatti. Bhatti was a cashier in Quetta District Commissioner`s office who had properties worth more than Rs. 1.9 million in properties beyond his known means of income.

Bhatti, sentenced five years in prison with a fine of Rs. 15 million by a trial court, chose to serve two years in prison instead of paying the fine. The high court stated that since Bhatti has served time while his properties in question have been confiscated by the State, he should not pay the fine imposed earlier.

NAB, on the other hand, challenged the high court`s verdict in the apex court in pursuit of the fines imposed on Bhatti. Bhatti argued that he had already served seven years in prison.

"After serving seven years in jail, have your properties [bought by money earned through corruption] become legal?" Justice Khosa asked during the hearing. “Fine will have to be paid even if the prison sentence has been served," the chief justice concluded, according to Dawn.

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