The Supreme Court on Thursday ended up reserving its judgment in a suo motu case regarding corruption in the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
While questioning Production Secretary Gull Muhammad Rind, a three member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, sought answers as to why no response had been made on the issue so far.
“Corruption at PSM is an established fact now,” the chief justice said, adding that in the year of 2008-09, PSM witnessed losses of Rs26.5 billion.
The production secretary stalled proceedings saying that the matter had been discussed with the production minister and the ministry would decide its course of action once all records of the case were obtained from the FIA.
Unsatisfied with the response from the ministry, the CJ chose to reserve judgment until a later date.
Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, the counsel for PSM, did not appear before the court on Thursday. He had shared a forensic audit report with the apex court on the last date of hearing, saying that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was reluctant to take action against those responsible and all accused were set free.
Officials in the law ministry told The Express Tribune that the ministry had concerns regarding the appointment of Ebrahim by the PSM Board as their legal counsel without their prior approval.
In a letter to the PSM management, the Ministry of Law conveyed its objection over this decision, stating that “the PSM board is not competent to engage any legal counsel or legal adviser without the ministry’s approval.”
The letter also demanded that “the PSM management conduct an inquiry in the matter to fix responsibility for the lapse, take steps to effect recovery of the amount (Rs5 million) paid irregularly to the counsel and furnish a detailed report to the law ministry.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2012.
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