ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court today will resume the hearing of details of loans amounting to Rs256.665 billion which had been written off since 1971.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday will take up the suo motu case.
At the last hearing, the bench had directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to furnish details, province-wise, of the loans. In its report submitted to the apex court on February 2, the central bank had stated that an amount of Rs256.665 billion had been written off between 1971 and 2009, benefiting as many as 669,819 borrowers.
The SBP has been asked to contact other banks to ascertain details of the cases pending with banking courts for recovery of loans, as well as criminal cases, under offences of the Special Courts Ordinance, 1984.
The bench ordered that details of mortgaged properties in lieu of loans should also be submitted, in order to know what exactly happened to them and how they were disposed of.
The bench further inquired what action had been taken against defaulters under the Companies Ordinance and how many cases were still pending before banking courts for loan recovery, as well as the number of criminal cases filed in bad debts.
The apex court had taken suo motu notice in 2007 of a news report that President Musharraf’s government –in-office at the time– had waived Rs53.499 billion worth of bank loans between 2002 and 2007. According to the reports, the loans were given to influential people on the basis of decisions taken by his financial team in December 2002.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2010.