LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Punjab's chief secretary to seize all vehicles, being used beyond entitlement by politicians and government departments, by midnight of May 31.
The bench, hearing a suo motu case pertaining to officials using luxury vehicles, also disallowed use of government-owned bulletproof vehicles during elections and directed authorities to withdraw such vehicles being used by Law Minister Punjab Rana Sanaullah and other lawmakers.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar also ordered outgoing Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to return two vehicles.
During the hearing, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Nayyer Abbas Rizvi submitted a report stating that at least 105 vehicles were in use by federal cabinet members and other lawmakers.
According to the report, Maulana Fazlur Rehman owns one Land Cruiser and three double-cabin vehicles. Federal Ministers Abid Sher Ali and Kamran Michael drive a Mercedes Benz, Leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah has a 4,400 cc bulletproof vehicle while Attorney General Ashraf Ausaf and former law minister Zahid Hamid were also among those using bulletproof and luxury vehicles.
“On whose authority did the prime minister allow buying of these cars?” inquired Justice Nisar. “The common man does not pay taxes for the leisure of ministers.”
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The AAG informed the court that the law restricts public officer holders and ministers from using a government allocated car of more than 1900cc. After summoning the former federal minister for clarification in the next hearing, the court hinted towards summoning all ministers and public-office holders who use unauthorised luxury vehicles.
Deciding to conduct an inquiry into the matter, the apex court further warned Punjab's advocate general that it will not tolerate falsified statements. “The board of directors must compensate for purchasing vehicles illegally and the matter should be sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” observed the bench.
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