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October 10, 2017

LHC admonishes CS over record of public sector firms

Lahore

 
October 10, 2017

LAHORE :Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Naqvi of the Lahore High Court Monday came hard on chief secretary and admonished him for failing to present record of 60 public sector companies being run at the expense of public money.

During hearing of a petition against alleged irregularities in Punjab Saaf Pani Company, the court had sought record of all public sector companies operational in the province, their legal status, salaries and perks enjoyed by their heads.

As hearing started, Justice Naqvi addressed the chief secretary and said the court was not found of inviting him but he has been summoned only to explain why the details of these companies were not provided to the court. The chief secretary replied that these companies are being run independently. This further annoyed the judge who remarked that what is the use of chief secretary if 60 companies are being run independently.

At this moment, law officer Shan Gul intervened and handled the situation by saying that the chief secretary has a supervisory kind of role and he would explain it later. The law officer challenged the court jurisdiction to summon the record. He pointed out that under article 212 of the Constitution, the court could not seek record of public servants as it falls under the domain of service tribunal. However, the court did not seem convinced. The court went on to say that no one would be allowed to establish monarchy or law of jungle in Punjab. Each and every penny of this nation is precious for the court and it would not allow wasting public money.

Every newborn baby of Pakistan is indebted to Rs120,000 which has skyrocketed from Rs 35,000 in few years. The sole purpose of establishing such companies is to accommodate their blue-eyed at lucrative posts, the court said. 

Justice Naqvi expressed serious concern over establishment of public sector companies and huge salaries being given to their chief executive officers. The judge observed with regret that officers of BS-20 working in other government departments would be getting not more than Rs150,000 but in such companies they getting salaries of two millions to four millions.

Addressing the law officer Shan Gul, the court said instead of improving their performance and getting the court’s order enforced, the law officers went to chief justice to complain against judges. However, Shan Gul showed his ignorance about any such activity.

The law officer requested for 15 days time to provide the record which the court declined. The court granted 10 days and adjourned hearing till October 18. A female lawyer had filed a petition challenging alleged corruption in the Saaf Pani Company and process for the appointment of manager legal at the company. Being an eligible candidate, the petitioner had applied for the post but never called for an interview by the authority.