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Under which law Rs20b spent on PKLI: CJ

By Our Correspondent
June 03, 2018

LAHORE: Hearing a suo motu case regarding the salary of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) Chief Executive Dr Saeed Akhtar, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Saturday said under which law a hefty amount of Rs 20 billion had been spent on the newly-established facility and added that the court would conduct forensic audit of the institute.

The PKLI is most modern health facility not only in the country but also South Asia and has been completed at a cost of Rs 20 billion.

Earlier, Dr Akhtar appeared before the court and disclosed that he received Rs 1.2 million while his wife Rs 0.8 million as monthly salary.

The chief justice told the doctor to be ready for the accountability as he had earned enough money from his job.

“We heard that you hanged in your office a portrait of chief minister instead of Quad-i-Azam or Allama Iqbal,” the chief justice asked the Dr Akhtar and observed that every penny of the public money misused would be recovered.

The chief justice adjourned hearing till Sunday (today) and summoned the record of the institute’s board of directors.

Separately, the Supreme Court on Saturday directed the Punjab government to remove the principal of Post-Graduate Medical Institute/Lahore General Hospital (LGH) Dr Ghayas Nabi Tayyab and to make a new appointment within two months through an independent search committee.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case regarding condition of public hospitals in Punjab. The other day, the chief justice had also visited the LGH.

The chief justice observed that Dr Tayyab had been serving as principal simultaneously for Amiruddin Medical College, Post Graduate Medical Institute and Punjab Institute of Neurosciences, all attached to the LGH. The chief justice told the chief secretary that he knew that Dr Tayyab had not been appointed through an independent search committee.

During the hearing, the chief justice also warned Primary Health Services Secretary Ali Jan to remain within his limits and stop victimising his subordinate female staff.

At one point, the chief justice ordered the chief secretary to make Jan OSD and post him to Balochistan. However, he later withdrew the order with a warning after Jan offered his apology. Separately, the Supreme Court on Saturday gave a go ahead to the provincial government to appoint Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar as permanent VC of the Punjab University as recommended by a search committee.

Earlier, Higher Education Secretary Nabeel Awan submitted a report of the search committee and stated that Prof Akhtar had been selected after he stood first in the interview. Prof Akhtar was also present in the court.

Chief Justice Nisar told him that the court had trusted him and he should discharge his duty with full sincerity and without taking pressure from any quarter. Also on Saturday, charted accountancy firm AF Ferguson submitted before the Supreme Court terms of references for the five-year forensic audit of Pakistan Railways.

Chief Justice Nisar had taken suo motu of colossal losses of the railways and decided to get its forensic audit conducted through a private firm. On previous hearings, the then railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafique also appeared before the court and submitted performance of the department during his stint.