Rs105b spent in Thar but it still lacks basic amenities, observes SC

Bench expressed discontentment with the provincial govt, said ‘all money went in their pockets’

Our Correspondent March 26, 2019
Bench expressed discontentment with the provincial govt, said ‘all money went in their pockets.' PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) expressed annoyance on Monday over the Sindh government's failure to produce a report on a reference regarding billions of rupees of corruption in the Thar Coal Authority and ordered the chief minister to submit the report within four weeks.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, was hearing the corruption reference. Justice Ahmed said that CM Murad Ali Shah was himself answerable and he must submit the report, adding that Rs105 billion were spent but the people of Thar didn't get even a glass of pure water.

Expressing discontentment with the advocate-general of Sindh, Justice Ahmed asked that what the government was doing if it couldn't even provide the people basic necessities. They have pocketed all the money in corruption.

Thar deprived of clean drinking water despite spending Rs105b: SC

Luxury cars import

The same bench gave an extension on Monday to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) lawyers for preparation of arguments in the case regarding the import of 196 luxury cars in the name of amnesty scheme.

The hearing of the FBR chairman's appeal against the reinstatement of collector Javed Raza Naqvi in the cars' import case was held at the SC's Karachi registry.

The counsel for FBR maintained that collector Javed was terminated on the basis of investigation and the tribunal had, without considering evidence, reinstated Javed. The counsel appealed the court to annul the verdict of the tribunal.

The court expressed its displeasure over the lack of preparation for arguments by the FBR lawyer and remarked that if the verdict was to be based on these arguments, it would be the lawyer's own loss.

Justice Ahmed remarked that the import of these cars could not have been possible without the involvement of higher officials since they all are interested in making money. He inquired if there was any action taken against the officials or only the collector. The collector was made the scapegoat with no questions raised against any higher officials.

Giving an extension for arguments, the court adjourned the hearing.

Police martyr quota

The same bench, wrapping up the plea on Monday regarding appointments on police martyr quota due to the lack of rules and regulations, directed the plaintiff to consult the relevant forums.

The plea was filed by Inspector Muhammad Ali Kamal against his demotion from DSP. The court expressed its displeasure over the absence of rules and regulations regarding the police martyr quota appointments and remarked that this was a murder of meritocracy. The government can appoint whoever it wants to on any position. The Sindh government must formulate rules and regulations regarding the appointments, said the court.

Infant mortality rate on the decline in Thar

Inspector Kamal argued that he was appointed as DSP on the martyr quota and he was demoted to inspector when he filed the plea. Justice Ahmed remarked that when there are no rules and regulations, how the SC could give a verdict. Hence, the court, directing the plaintiff to consult the relevant forums, wrapped up the plea.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2019.


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