ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday deemed illegal the agreement regarding purchase of armoured personnel carriers (APC) by Sindh police from Serbia instead of the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), Taxila.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja made the ruling, according to Express News,.
Earlier on Wednesday, the deputy attorney general (DAG) raised doubts over the legality of agreement.
Read: Armoured personnel carriers: Doubts cast over legality of Serbian APCs deal
DAG Khawaja Ahmad Hussain told SC, that inspector general (IG) police cannot sign such an agreement because the IG office is not an independent entity.
Previously, Sindh police had entered into an agreement with Yugoimport SDPR, Serbian state-run company, for the purchase of 20 Lazar II armoured fighting vehicles of B-7 category that will cost Rs1.23 billion.
Farooq Naek, counsel for Sindh government, however, stated that payment has not been made yet. He contended that the agreement was done with the approval of the chief minister while the finance department had allocated the amount.
The SC on March 4 sought legal assistance from Attorney General for Pakistan over the purchase of APC by Sindh police from Serbia instead of the HMC, Taxila.
Read: Exorbitant expenditure: SC seeks AGP's help over Serbian APCs
The bench is taking up application filed by Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi regarding purchase of APC vehicles by Sindh police at a colossal amount.
The DAG further stated that though the agreement was signed with the approval of chief minister Sindh, its status is not legal because under section 24(4) Sindh Rules 1996, governor signs such type of agreements after taking legal opinion from the law ministry.
Upon this, the bench pointed out that nothing is mentioned about the Sindh governor in this agreement. It also made clear that if the agreement is illegal then it has no legal status.
The court also observed that no advertisement was given regarding the purchase of APC by the Sindh police, adding that rules are very clear that the police cannot enter into agreement regarding the purchase of APCs worth Rs1.23 billion because it (police) works under the interior ministry.
Earlier, unpleasant scene was witnessed before the court’s proceedings, when harsh words were exchanged between Irfan Qadir, counsel for Sindh police, and the bench members.
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