Delay in setting up Northern Areas appeal court: SC seeks explanation from attorney general
27 February 2004
The Daily Times
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the attorney general (AG) to explain why the government had delayed the establishment of an appeal court in the Northern Areas despite the president earlier approving one.The court bench directed the AG to reply within a fortnight. The court adjourned the proceedings till second week of March.The case relates to former general manager of the Northern Areas Cooperative Ltd Pervez Iqbal who had filed an appeal against his conviction by the Accountability Court in Gilgit. He was sentenced to 14 years rigorous imprisonment and fined on 25 October 2001 for taking a bribe, violating by-laws and misusing his authority. Later on August 29, 2002, the Chief Court of Northern Areas in Gilgit curtailed his punishment and sentenced him to only four years in jail and a Rs 500,000 fine. Mr Pervez filed an appeal against his conviction in the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court. But his appeal was dismissed on April 30, 2003 on the ground that the Lahore High Court had no jurisdiction to hear cases from the Northern Areas. Mr Iqbal then moved the Supreme Court against the dismissal of his appeal.On Friday senior advocate, Muhammad Akram Shaikh, appearing for the appellant Mr Iqbal told the court that Attorney General of Pakistan Makhdoom Ali Khan had informed the court in this case that government would set up a Northern Areas appeal court within 30 days, no notification to this effect has been issued so far.New City Project case adjourned to March 11 Judge of Accountability Court No 1 Manzoor Hussain Malik on Friday recorded testimony of prosecution witness Waheed Hussain in the New City Project reference filed against Aftab Khan Sherpao, federal water and power minister, Haji Nawaz Khokhar, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, and others. The court adjourned the hearing to March 11.