The Supreme Court has taken notice of the continued occupation of Rawalpindi Medical College’s girls hostel by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and sought response from the top government lawyer within a week.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was informed by NAB officials that the bureau’s offices have been shifted to Islamabad but NAB courts could not be shifted.
The apex court issued a notice to the attorney general Irfan Qadir to present the federation’s response and adjourned the case for one week.
During the hearing, Justice Chaudhry asked NAB officials why they had occupied the girls’ hostel for the last 12 years.
NAB’s attorney informed the court that NAB courts were established by the federal government, but he could not produce the notification before the bench when asked for. Chief Justice Chaudhry called the situation “pathetic”.
The hostel was occupied by NAB back in 1999, forcing some 2,000 students to live in private apartments outside the college.
NAB’s attorney claimed that alternative accommodation was provided to the students, but a number of female students contested this claim while speaking to The Express Tribune, saying that they were living in rented buildings far away from the college.
Despite several complaints, protests and assurances from the former prime minister, not much progress has been made on the issue. Due to the situation created by the country’s top accountability body, hundreds of students have been deprived of safe and affordable accommodation. Apart from those living off-campus, a considerable number of female students are also living in RMC’s servant quarters and study halls.
Quratulain, a third-year RMC student, told The Express Tribune, “We are facing huge problems because of this. Despite former prime minister Gilani’s intervention, NAB did not vacate our hostels.”
Published In The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2012.
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