The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Nadeem Afzal Chan, on Friday said his committee could discuss the financial affairs of judges.
Speaking to the media at the Parliament House on Friday, he said that though the committee could not discuss the conduct of judges, it could discuss financial matters of the apex court.
He added that the PAC has sought the opinion of the law ministry about the appearance of the Supreme Court registrar before the committee.
“If he (the registrar) does not appear before the committee, it will send a reference to parliament,” he added.
He said the committee did not intend to discuss the conduct of judges, but their financial affairs. And for this purpose, if the registrar declines to appear before the committee, it reserves the right to approach parliament.
“If the president, the prime minister and the country’s security institutions can be held accountable, why can financial matters of the apex court not be questioned?”
Chan revealed that security institutions took the lead in following the directives of the PAC. If the bureaucracy so desired, corruption could be eradicated within a day, he added.
Talking to The Express Tribune Chan said he has already sought advice from the law ministry on sending a reference against the registrar, if he does not show up before the parliamentary body.
Besides seeking advice from the law minister, the PAC has also consulted legal experts on the matter, according to Chan.
He claimed that the court has itself made it clear that the registrar was not part of the judiciary.
“Under paragraph 93 of a Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry vs President of Pakistan case, Justice Ramday had declared that the registrar is not part of the judiciary,” he added.
“When parliament approves the budget it has the authority to scrutinise all departments which get their budgets approved from Parliament,” he added. (With additional input from Agencies)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2012.