Pakistan can no longer be plundered at will: CJP

Published: August 4, 2018
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CJP Saqib Nisar. PHOTO: FILE

CJP Saqib Nisar. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE .: The national exchequer can no longer be willfully plundered and no one can simply embezzle money and just leave, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar remarked on Friday.

He was hearing a suo motu notice about the appointment of Afzal Bhatti, the head of the Overseas Pakistanis Commission at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.

The CJP ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against Bhatti after hearing his testimony.

DG NAB Lahore Saleem Shehzad told the court that Bhatti was a British and not a Pakistani citizen.

The CJP then called up Bhatti to take the rostrum.

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Terming him a blue-eyed boy, the CJP asked him about his salary. The CJP asked him if he was aware about the dam which would be built and said that all salaries above a limit would go to fund the dam construction.

The DG NAB contended that Bhatti did not have sufficient experience for the said post.

According to him, the selection committee had forwarded three names to the then CM Punjab Shehbaz Sharif who approved Bhatti’s appointment as the head of Overseas Pakistanis Commission.

The DG NAB informed the court that Bhatti was being paid a salary amounting to Rs500,000.

In response, the CJP ordered Bhatti to return all “the extra amount” he had been paid.

The CJP also directed the NAB to file a reference against Bhatti.

Police torture case

Withdrawing his suo muto notice, the CJP ordered the IG Punjab to investigate the matter of the torture of police officials by a newly-elected PTI MPA and his colleagues.

A full bench headed by the CJP commenced the proceedings of a suo muto notice in this regard.

Policemen were severely beaten up and injured by PTI MPA and others when some of his supporters were arrested by local police on charges of firing in the air in the jurisdiction of the Hanjarwal police station.

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A law officer told the court that most of the accused had been arrested and sent on physical remand.

MPA-elect Nadeem Abbas Bara’s counsel contended that the firing incident had not happened anywhere near the MPA’s Dera but police had wrongly arrested Bara and his supporters.

He contended that the SP concerned had a grudge against Bara and that was why he had nominated him in a fictitious case.

The CJP remarked that fact would emerge after the IG’s investigation concluded.

Contracts given in five years

The CJP sought details of all contracts awarded over the past five years in Punjab and wondered why was it that all contracts had been awarded to five or six companies in the province.

He ordered the authorities concerned to form a commission to examine transparency in the award of contracts.

The bench, headed by the CJP, took up the matter of award of contracts of major projects in Punjab.

Some of the contractors appeared on the court’s orders.

They insisted that they had obtained all contracts after the conclusion of proper tendering procedure.

The CJP remarked that he would refer the cases to departments concerned if any irregularity was found in the award of contracts.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • JR
    Aug 4, 2018 - 9:26AM

    The “plunderers” must not be let off through so-called plea bargain nonsense. That would amount to betraying the Nation. Recommend

  • Mirza Ghalib
    Aug 4, 2018 - 10:33AM

    The CJP seems to have gone off the cliff. His comments and actions (no matter how much he deems it as noble and nationalistic) is appalling and are totally indefensible. Request him to please focus on ensuring justice in the courts instead of trying to get cheap popularity…Recommend

  • ali ahmed
    Aug 4, 2018 - 10:52AM

    Extortion ……Recommend

  • Malik Tariq
    Aug 4, 2018 - 10:52AM

    The plunder and daylight robberies will end when those who are involved and have been accused with enough evidence are given strict exemplary punishments to serve as deterrence. Mere fines of Rs5 Billion for scams involving over Rs350-450billion illegal occupation of state lands will only increase plunder and encourage them.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Aug 4, 2018 - 11:09AM

    Who is he? A judicial dictator who wants to run country on his whims. No doubt, foreign leaders say whom should they talk. If he can just get dam even started, he has then adjudicated a difficult case. In most countries, citizens do not know even the name of their Chief Justice. Recommend

  • Rabi
    Aug 4, 2018 - 1:20PM

    So many Indian comments, these Indians can make Guinness record for most comments on an website of an enemy country.Recommend

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