Military officials cannot be court-martialed over non-disclosure of assets: Pak SC
ISLAMABAD, Apr 03: The top court upheld on Tuesday a Lahore High Court (LHC) decision outlining that there could not be a court martial of a military official over non-disclosure of financial assets.
During the hearing of a review petition against Colonel Munir, indicted in 1999 for non-disclosure of assets, Additional Attorney General Sajid Ilyas said army officials were expected to remain transparent regarding their assets, adding that the concealment of which amounted to dishonesty.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Ejazul Ahsan and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, observed that there is no mandatory provision for military officials to disclose their assets.
Justice Nisar noted that even in misrepresentation of assets, a military official would not qualify for a court martial instead the matter would fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Meanwhile, Justice Ejaz remarked that statements given to an unauthorised institution would not qualify as misconduct.
A decade ago, Col. Munir was court-martialed for non-disclosure of assets. However, the LHC has set aside the decision, reinstating him. The high court’ verdict was challenged in the apex court, which had also dismissed the petition.
During the hearing, AAGP submitted that there is an obligation for a military official that he should be truthful and honest in his conduct. The bench however observed that military court has no jurisdiction to remove any official on the basis of non disclosure of assets.
Now the official will get all pensionary benefits in view of the LHC order.