ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Pakistan Railways to submit lease bidding plan and accounts details of the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Lahore in 15 days.
The court also summoned officials concerned on the next date of hearing. A three-member bench of the court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the matter regarding the implementation of the court order for leasing out of the premises of Old Railways Golf Club.
During the course of proceedings, Justice Bandial asked the railways counsel “whether the management had to run the railways or the golf club”.
He said the bidding process should be started immediately. Justice Ahsan said the auditor report had made serious accusations against the former administration.
Barrister Ali Zafar, counsel for the former management, said that his client would answer all allegations.
He alleged that the audit report was biased. The counsel said the railways neither submit accounts details nor started the bidding process after taking the control of club.
He said, “The railways administration did not obey the court”. Justice Bandial said that after the allegations in the audit, the former administration might not even be included in the bidding process.
The counsel for the railways said the previous administration hired the Ferguson Company for an audit of the club.
He added the railways could not conduct an audit of the club as the former administration did not provide details of accounts. Zafar said that all records were with the railways’ administration.
Justice Bandial asked the counsel for railways to file a case for a missing record. Railways DG for accounts told the court that the former administration did not submit complete accounts details, which has caused delay in a forensic audit of the accounts.
However, four months details of railways is available, he added. To this, Justice Ahsan asked the lawyer to provide details of records not received to the court, which would later issue an appropriate order.
“Railways [officials] are sleeping,” said Justice Ahsan.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2019.