Peshawar: Former FC chief, others acquitted
PESHAWAR: An accountability court on Monday acquitted former inspector general of police and former commandant of the Frontier Constabulary (FC), Malik Naveed Khan, and three others from the charge of making over 700 illegal appointments in the paramilitary force.
The court presided over by Judge Afsar Shah announced the judgment, which had been reserved almost two weeks ago after the bench heard arguments from the accused persons lawyers and public prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The court had earlier recorded statements of the accused and prosecution witnesses almost in 10 months.
Amid tight security, all the four persons waited for four hours in a tense environment in the presence of the print and electronic media and finally they embraced each other and family members after hearing the decision of their acquittal. The relatives threw flower petals at them and distributed sweets.
Talking to reporters after the court decision, Malik Naveed Khan said his acquittal from the charges would boost the morale of the police force. He said that filing of baseless and concocted cases against officers of the forces had downed the morale of the security personnel.
To a question, Malik Naveed said he did not think of filing a damages suit against the NAB for defaming him, but said he would ponder over the issue. He said the courts are independent and deciding cases on merit.
The other three persons acquitted in the case are Mohammad Shoaib, district officer FC, now appointed as DIG police in Punjab province; deputy commandant FC Ghaniur Rehman Wazir and former ammunition technical officer Hamid Hassan.
A special prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Lajbar Khan argued that the appointments were made illegally and without rules and procedures required for recruitment of FC soldiers in Charsadda district.
The NAB had charged Malik Naveed with making illegal recruitment in FC in connivance with the other three accused when he was the commandant. The NAB stated in the reference that an advertisement was published for recruitment in the FC on May 28, 2006. After the advertisement, the FC commandant constituted a five-member recruitment committee to conduct test and interviews and prepare a merit list with the Swat district officer as its chairman.
The committee, after conducting tests and interviews, prepared a list of 776 recommended candidates with another 183 placed in the waiting list. The NAB alleged that the commandant while issuing the enlistment order appointed 1,246 candidates and among them only 750 had been recommended by the committee, while the remaining 496 were recruited illegally.
Later, the FC commandant allegedly issued another letter on November 25, 2006, ordering recruitment of 217 more candidates without advertising the vacancies and even without conducting tests and interviews.