KARACHI: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday ordered officials of the Airblue airline to pay the compensation promised to the families of the victims of 2010 crash over Margalla hills, Islamabad.
The top court resumed the hearing of the case pertaining to pilot’s fake degrees. Those affected by the Airblue tragedy reached the top court’s Karachi registry. “We were affected by the 2010 crash but complete compensation has not been provided even to this day,” the affected persons told the court.
At this, Justice Nisar reprimanded officials of the concerned airline. “You are the CEO of the company, and you don’t know this is happening?” Justice Nisar said to Managing Director of Airblue airlines, Junaid Khan.
“147 people were martyred in the crash, every person should have been compensated with Rs2.5 million,” the affected citizen demanded. “Why has the amount not been paid,” the top judge questioned Khan. Justice Nisar then ordered the amount to be deposited in court. “Bring the list along with stamp papers,” the court ordered Khan.
The court also demanded the list of all those affected by the tragedy along with compensation amount details. Court orders a report to be presented in the Karachi registry on Sunday along with the dues payable.
CJ also summoned details of Bhoja Air tragedy.
Prior to the affected citizens reaching court, the bench heard arguments on the fake degrees case. “We have 101 pilots and a staff of 251,” Khan told the court. The bench expressed anger over the delay in confirmation and verification of degrees.
Why have the pilots’ degrees not been verified,” Justice Nisar questioned as he slapped Airblue with a fine of Rs50,000. “Amount should be deposited in the Fatimid Foundation,” he further ordered. “If any irresponsibility is demonstrated, then contempt of court proceedings will be taken against MD Junaid Khan,” the CJP announced.
Meanwhile, Khan ensured the court that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has no links with the airline.
The CJP also reprimanded CEO PIA, Dr Musharraf Rasool Cyan for not paying the employees’ dues on time. “We have 498 pilots for 32 planes,” Cyan told the court. At this, the court gave one week’s time to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and PIA to submit a detailed report.
The chief of Shaheen Air was also reprimanded over failure to provide information in the case. Additionally, the court slapped the airline with a fine of Rs100,000. The fine will be paid to Fatimid Foundation as well. “You have dual nationality and you play with the court’s orders?” the top judge said to the chief, who is also a Canadian citizen.
“Strict action will be taken if complete information is not provided within 3 days,” Justice Nisar remarked.
The CJP also visited Central Jail, Karachi. He even shared a meal with the inmates to see the current condition of the city’s largest jail.
May 12 incident
Justice Nisar also summoned the record file of the May 12 incident of 2007. Before initiating the cases in the SC’s Karachi registry, the top judge said that a prayer should be recited for all those martyred in the May 12 incident.
Justice Nisar summoned records of the May 12 incident which left 50 dead, including lawyers and political activists as they went to welcome former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in 2007.
After the prayers, the CJP inquired from lawyer Faisal Siddiqui as to whether an inquiry in that incident took place. Siddiqui informed the court that the matter is being heard at the Sindh High Court (SHC), upon which the CJP asked for details so he could examine the case himself.
At least 50 people, including 45 lawyers, were shot and killed as they went to welcome the suspended chief justice (at the time) Justice (retd) Iftikhar Chaudhry in Karachi. During the tenure of former president Pervez Musharraf, workers of the ruling party opened fire which led to the bloodbath remembered as May 12.
Karachi’s load shedding problem
The CJP also expressed severe dissatisfaction over the hours of load shedding in Karachi. Justice Nisar further ordered K-Electric (KE) to halt load shedding more than required.
During the hearing, the top court was dissatisfied with the state of affairs in Karachi. “Shall the people of Karachi be put in hell? The people of Karachi are being destroyed, is it not your work to provide electricity to them?” Justice Nisar questioned.
“Ramazan is starting, if this stays throughout, the people of Karachi will suffer immensely,” he added.
KE’s lawyer said that multiple faults in the system has led to problems. At this the CJP asked for the backups prepared by the organisation. CEO of KE, Tayyab Tareen, informed the bench that Karachi requires 3200 Megawatts while KE is only producing 2650 Megawatts. “Who gave you the permission to perform load shedding?” Jusrice Nisar questioned.
“Should we file a case against you?” he further questioned. Ordering no more load shedding than required, the top judge also sought report by KE on May 20.