ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa on Tuesday said those convicted of corruption will have to pay the fine even if they are dead.
He said an earlier Supreme Court verdict stated that anyone guilty of corruption would have to pay the fine, even if they served additional time in prison.
The extra time served in prison was punishment for not paying the fine, he added.
The CJP was heading a three-member bench, comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Yahya Afridi, which heard a case pertaining to sentence awarded to a Balochistan government former employee who had been found guilty of owning assets beyond his known sources of income.
Mohammad Kaleem Bhatti, a cashier in Quetta district commissioner’s office, was given five-year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 15 million by an accountability court on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for having properties worth over Rs 21.9 million, which were beyond his known means of income.
The Balochistan High Court (BHC) also upheld the accountability court verdict.
The accused, however, chose to serve two years more in prison instead of paying the fine.
The BHC, in a later verdict, returned his properties that were earlier confiscated by NAB for not paying the fine, citing the accused had served additional time in the prison.
The bureau challenged the BHC decision in the Supreme Court.
During the course of proceedings, the CJP made it clear that the money earned through corruption must be returned even if the accused were dead.
The BHC had misunderstood the SC judgement, he added.
The counsel for accused Kaleem Bhatti said his client had already served seven years in prison.
Upon this, the chief justice asked the counsel whether his client’s properties bought from the corruption money had become legal after serving seven years in prison.
The court after hearing the case directed accused Kaleem Bhatti to pay the fine of Rs 15 million