PU laptops ceremony: Court questions use of city govt funds on ‘political drama’

Published: April 12, 2012

Punjab law officer says city govt will reimburse university for Rs10.61m spent on event. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the city government to explain what law allowed it to reimburse Punjab University for the money it spent on a ceremony for the distribution of laptops last month.

On March 22, Justice Umar Ata Bandial had directed the university’s vice chancellor not to pay for the ceremony, after which the Punjab government announced that it would bear the cost. Nazir Ahmad, a citizen, had filed the petition asking the court to stop the university from paying.

On Thursday, a law officer representing the Punjab government told the court that the city government would reimburse the Rs10.61 million the university spent on the ceremony.

At this, petitioner’s counsel Aftab Ahmad Bajwa raised an objection and asked how the city government could spend its money on an event that was meant to benefit one political party. He said the PML-Nawaz leaders at the event delivered political speeches. The university could have handed out the machines to the students “without the political drama,” he said.

Justice Bandial agreed and sought an explanation from the city government within two weeks justifying its paying for the laptop distribution ceremony.

The petitioner had submitted that the PU vice chancellor had arranged the event to curry favour with the Sharif family. He asked that the ceremony be declared a waste of public funds and that the court stop it from happening.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Apr 12, 2012 - 8:31PM

    How can distribution of laptops be justified under the prevailing conditions of the country where people are still deprived of their basic rights to eat, clothe and shelter.

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  • Azim
    Apr 12, 2012 - 9:39PM

    It will bring value, these laptops will be used by some one in Pakistan – Yet putting more focus on improving quality of schools and bringing more teenagers in smaller towns and villages to schools could had been a better choice.

    But guess, our leaders do well know what they are best un-capable off!

    Nevertheless, in this country even such stupid moves have a right to be appreciated!

    May we help our self in next election – Pakistan Zindabad

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  • Freeman
    Apr 13, 2012 - 4:37PM

    This Laptop show completely flopped like Yellow taxi, Sasti Roti and other useless money wasting plans. Old style of buying votes from youth but they will not be sold for laptop.

    This is the same way like in villages fuedal buy votes with the distributing of Flour bags and Gee.

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  • Ali Tipu
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:19PM

    Kahdim-e-Ala while himself living in palaces distributing Laptops on the tax payers money and on top of that spending such huge amounts on the ceremonies? Shame of him and this mafia we know it as PML(N). This is a new low in Pakistani society.

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  • xiaahmad
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:19PM

    Total waste of public money in giving these old outdated Laptops just for few votes. and no one to question these ppl

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  • Ovais
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:41PM

    Other then distributing Laptops, the public money could be utilzied for scholorships to deserving students..Recommend

  • Sunny
    Apr 13, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @Nimra Zulfiqar: Laptop project is absolutely justified. The laptop project only costed less than 5 billion rupees. The country where there is a corruption of more than 500 Billion rupees annually if 5 billion which is less than the money being lost in corruption is being spent on the students then what is a big deal??. This time Sindh, Balochistan and KPK were given bigger funding with new formula of provincial autonomy and NFC and their provincial governments could start a project costing less than 5 billion as their population is smaller than Punjab but they did nothing. So please do appreciate some effort by the Punjab gov for the students and the prevailing conditions have to be improved by good governance and end to corruption. Just whining for projects is not fruitful at all. We should appreciate what is good and also Why no one talks about Benazir income where more than 20 billion rs are spent with no accountability and with no results.
    The Nawaz bashing is a common phenomena on the media now a days. Yes he is corrupt but less than other parties of coalition and in government.

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  • siddique
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:17PM

    nawaz and zardari are same same

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  • Apr 13, 2012 - 6:23PM

    Good job CM keep wasting the public money

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  • alicia
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:41PM

    @Freeman
    at least people need ghee and atta. Laptop scheme is completely bogus especially considering our ratta based education system. Maybe CM could have improved school or changed the syllabus but he took the east way out

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  • Lala Gee
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:58AM

    In my opinion this is a very badly conceived idea and worst in its implementation. Over 10 million Rupees have been plundered on just one distribution ceremony.

    I have following reservations on this scheme.

    No proper usage and cost/benefit analysis was done, rather just on the hunches this scheme has been launched (similar schemes in other countries have already failed without producing any significant improvements in any of the expected areas).

    However, if was done then:
    a) what are the areas of usage identified and how justified it is to finance it using tax payer’s money.
    b) what is the Economic Rate of Return and cost/benefit ratios.
    c) how better is this scheme compared to other alternatives.
    d) how the nation would benefit form publicly financing chatting and social networking.

    2 Personal Computers in general and Laptops in particular have a very limited life span of 2 to 3 years as the technology just becomes out dated and these laptops are already not the latest ones. What will happen after 3 or 4 years time. Will the recipients be given a newer laptop again so that their (and scheme’s) goals are fully achieved.

    There is no practical way to ensure if the recipient already have a laptop or can afford one by themselves.
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  • Maman
    Apr 14, 2012 - 2:03AM

    This laptop scheme is just there to gauge youth towards PML N and bring them back from PTI. A fsc student doesn’t nneed a laptop. Our local education is not smart enough to have any assignnment. Onn a computer.
    Once again a useless marketing effort by CM Lahore…sorry my bad, CM PUNJAB

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Apr 14, 2012 - 3:01AM

    Providing these tools of information and technology to young people is one of the best step taken by Sharif government. Its sad this step is only being taken in Punjab while other provincial governments have deprived their people to keep them in dark.

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  • Mustafa
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:36PM

    i thought and now am sure…time is coming …when this system is going to collapse big time…all of them who looted this Country through “Sasti Roti” “Benazir Income Support program”, Laptop Scheme, Qarz utarou Mulk sanwaro, Yellow Cabs, Rickshaw Scheme and so many other issues…People wont tolerate them, these Politicians, Armed Forces, Judges, Media and Businessmen…who did for their own personal interest are going to be hanged not by the Courts but by the People of Pakistan…now people will determine what to do with them….no more army, no more politicians, no more media hero’z….it will be about people of Pakistan and they will determine their Future…InshAllah and Mark my words…time is coming may be in a month or two months…

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  • fatima
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:46AM

    i got 905 marks in f.s.c now i m in b.c.s but according to my college clerk i m not able to get laptop…………….. injustice exist every where in pakistan i m very sad..every one know that computer is very essential in b.c.s but……….

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  • Apr 30, 2012 - 2:22AM

    sir is there any chance for us (kpk) peoples?

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