Oct 162018
SC seeks reports on luxury vehicles in use of govt officials

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered federal and provincial governments to furnish within 10 days reports on the use of government-owned vehicles by government officials and their purpose for doing so. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar delivered the instructions while heading a three-member bench hearing a case on the use of luxury vehicles by government officials. “This is basically a matter that falls under the jurisdiction of provincial governments,” said the assistant attorney general present in court. “Some cars were kept under the name of Saaf Pani and 56 other companies,” the chief justice replied. “27 cars were found [in the use of] the Punjab government; these were hidden away in Ali Complex,” he added. “Where did the 500 cars recovered by the Sindh government go?” the chief justice asked the Sindh advocate general. During the hearing today, the Punjab advocate general told the court that the Punjab government had recovered 201 cars. “We should know which officials can use these cars as millions of rupees are spent on their upkeep,” the chief justice said, adding that the extra cars in the government’s use should be sold and the money be used for some “greater cause”. The federal and provincial governments were then ordered to compile and submit their reports on the matter within 10 days. “No more time will be given after that,” the chief justice warned before adjourning the hearing till October 26.

Sep 302018
SC reprimands PTI lawmakers for allegedly meddling in police affairs

The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday reprimanded Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) MNA Malik Karamat Khokhar and MPA Nadeem Abbas after they allegedly influenced the police, sheltered criminal elements, and issued false statements in court. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a case at the Lahore registry pertaining to the illegal occupation of nine plots in Johar Town area of Lahore. According to the overseas petitioner, Mahmood Ashraf, a land grabber Mansha Bam had allegedly grabbed his property while police were reluctant to take action against the grabbers. During the hearing, Superintendent Police (SP) Mohammad Maaz told the top judge that PTI MNA Khokhar had influenced the police over the issue. The CJP summoned the MNA immediately. “Since when has the PTI has started behaving like thugs?” asked the CJP. “Did people vote for you for this? Are you going to make a new Pakistan while helping thugs?” “Karamat Khokhar, you will not go back as an MNA if found guilty in today’s inquiry,” the CJP said. “I will not let any thug live in the country.” Khokhar denied knowing Mansha Bam. He said he had not called the SP but the deputy inspector general (DIG). At this point, the CJP summoned the DIG, adjourning the hearing briefly. PTI’s Nadeem Abbas alleged that a police officer had framed him in baseless cases, adding that he would resign if found guilty. To this, the CJP said he should go ahead and resign first, “but you won’t have the courage [Read More…]

Sep 282018
SC orders transparent NAB inquiry into LNG contracts, PSO affairs

The Supreme Court on Friday while hearing a case regarding an increase in oil and gas prices ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct an independent and neutral inquiry into the matter. The court ordered the board of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to submit a report on LNG contracts within 10 days and explain whether there was transparency in the agreements with Qatar. The court also ordered a report to be submitted on whether postings within PSO were made on the basis of merit or not. The court maintained that ‘favoured’ persons were posted in PSO and received hefty salaries while the country was looted of its wealth. The CJP enquired why the MD of PSO had received such a high salary and asked, “Was he Aristotle?” The top judge said that the former managing director (MD) of PSO received a salary of Rs2.1 million to which Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan added that he wasn’t the only one at PSO who was receiving a high salary. He said that the general manager (GM) of PSO received Rs1.4m, the GM for HR received Rs1.3m and the GM for Fuel received Rs1.3m. Justice Nisar said that all of them should be summoned to court and that details of expensive cars owned by PSO should also be provided. The SC expressed displeasure at the hiring of a private lawyer for the former MD of PSO. The CJP asked the lawyer how much his salary was to which the lawyer responded that he [Read More…]

Sep 282018
SC to conduct 2014 APS carnage hearing on Oct 5

The Supreme Court on Friday set October 5 as the date for the suo motu hearing of the 2014 Army Public School carnage in Peshawar. Notices were sent to the attorney general and advocate general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa among others. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar will preside over the three-member SC bench. In the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history, 131 schoolchildren and 10 other people were killed when heavily armed militants stormed the APS on Dec 16, 2014. The top judge had taken a suo motu notice of the matter in April when parents of some martyred students, including mothers, approached him while he was hearing other cases in Peshawar. In May, the SC had ordered an inquiry into the APS carnage through a judicial commission comprising a judge of the Peshawar High Court (PHC). A judicial inquiry into the APS massacre was a longstanding demand of the parents. Parents in the courtroom during the May order said that they had been demanding justice for over three years and had put forward their request for a judicial inquiry at different forums.

Sep 252018
SC assures security to Musharraf, seeks timeframe for his return

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday assured the lawyer of retired Gen Pervez Musharraf of the provision of high-level security to the former president were he to return to face pending cases against him, and directed his counsel to inform the court of the timeframe of his return within a week. The court was hearing the National Reconciliation Ordinance case against Musharraf and others. The case pertains to the recovery of a large amount of public money wasted allegedly by former presidents Musharraf, Asif Zardari Zardari and former attorney general Malik Qayyum in the wake of the NRO in 2007. During the hearing, Musharraf’s lawyer presented details of his assets in Pakistan and abroad. According to his lawyer, Musharraf owns nothing in the country, whereas he has a flat worth 5.4 million dirhams in Dubai. A farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, worth Rs43.6m, has been leased in Musharraf’s wife’s name, lawyer Athar Shah told the court. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked the lawyer why Musharraf does not return to Pakistan. “He left the country on the pretext of pain in his backbone but he can be seen dancing abroad,” the CJP remarked. The lawyer said that the former military ruler respects the courts but could not return because of security issues. The chief justice said that the head of the Rangers force in the relevant province will be responsible for Musharraf’s security upon his return to the country. Musharraf will also be offered the services of best available doctors in the [Read More…]