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Fake bank accounts case: Decision in a week

By Our Correspondent
October 31, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Tuesday said a decision in the fake accounts case will be announced within a week.

The top judge was hearing the case of fake bank accounts which were used to launder over Rs100 billion out of Pakistan. The chief justice said a joint investigation team (JIT) investigating the money laundering case had started receiving information and the report was awaited. Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Memon informed the Supreme Court that Omni Group had deposited over Rs11 billion in the bank as surety.

As the hearing went under way, the chief justice asked if the Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed, who’s currently in custody in the fake bank accounts case, and his son, Nimr, were present in court.

“We did not get Nimr Majeed arrested, as the matter pertains to businesses and bank loans. At this time, banks are suffering losses and you have to repay them,” the chief justice remarked. Omni Group counsel Muneer Bhatti said they were in talks with banks and sought 10 days. The group’s second counsel, Khawaja Naveed said the Omni Group accounts were frozen due to which loans could not be repaid to the banks.

However, Justice Nisar said, “Right now, we will not issue any order regarding this.”

The court then adjourned the hearing till November 5.

Hospital waste management case: Hearing a hospital waste case, the chief justice said the condition of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was worse than the Sindh province.

KP Health Minister Hasham Inamullah Khan and Additional Attorney General (AAG) also appeared before the court.

The chief justice inquired about the amount of waste produced and the number of incinerators to dispose it of. He also asked officials about the method to collect and dispose of the waste. The chief justice said he had seen the improper hospital waste management with his own eyes during a visit to some KP hospitals. DG Health Commission told the court that government and private hospitals daily produced 173kg and 63kg waste respectively.

He further said 27 private hospitals had installed incinerators on their premises. “What have you done so far? This is your second tenure,” said the CJP addressing the KP Health Minister Inamullah Khan.

Inamullah said he was as sincere to his work as the honourable judge was.

The CJP said he valued the minister’s sentiment but the fact was that 3000kgs of waste was not being incinerated.

Adjourning the hearing, the chief justice directed Inamullah Khan to furnish a report with the top court within 10 days as the matter concerned the public health.

Mineral water companies’ case: Hearing the mineral water companies’ case, the chief justice observed that people were being deceived in the name of mineral water and appealed to the nation to avoid using it.

Justice Nisar said he visited a top brand mineral water company in Karachi recently and came to know that free land had been awarded to the company.

He said the company was earning billons of rupees while selling low quality water to the people.

“I have stopped using mineral water and also appeal to the nation not to use it,” he said and appealed to the nation to use pot water (garhay ka paani).

He said people were being deceived in the name of mineral water.

The chief justice said he was informed that five tube wells had been installed over there.

Advocate General Sindh told the court that the matter was pending with the provincial cabinet and propped a rate of Rs1.50 per liter for the water companies, while Advocate General Punjab Awais Ahmed told the court that the provincial government had proposed charges of Rs1 per liter for extraction of water.

Advocate General Balochistan also proposed Rs1 per liter for extraction of water.

Advocate General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told the court that they had proposed Rs1:20 per liter for extraction of water.

The chief justice then asked the advocates general of four provinces to sit together and devise a uniform mechanism for fixing the rate for extraction of water.

He said an educated person could not put his health at stake by purchasing a bottle of water at Rs54.

An expert on environment told the court that the bottles being used by the mineral water companies do not meet the international standards.

Later the court adjourned the hearing for November 13 and summoned all the owners of companies.

Swimming pools case: Hearing a case pertaining to construction of a plaza on the plot of a swimming pool in Islamabad, the chief justice said now there will be rule of the law in the country.

The chief justice headed a five-member larger bench to hear the case.

The counsel for plaza owners informed the court that it was his request that the shopkeepers should be given shops at the rates set in 2016.

The counsel for the renters said the shopkeepers were ready for 100 percent increase in rents.

The chief Justice said he had seen extreme illegality in all cases of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The top judge said he was a judge but could not understand the works of CDA adding that all he wanted was the rule of law in the country.

He also emphasised the importance of building more reservoirs to conserve water and save the country from droughts.

He said population planning was his next task after the dams and he was ready to embark on a long march for raising awareness.

Forest land encroachment case: Hearing a petition against encroachment of thousands of acres of forest land in Sindh, the chief justice directed the provincial government to take speedy measures for recovering around 145,000 acres of forest land and issued orders for cancelling allotments awarded to influential people on lease.

The chief justice headed the bench comprising three members.

Advocate General Sindh Salman Talibuddin appeared before the court and expressed no-confidence in the ability of the provincial government to tackle the issue of deforestation.

He requested the Chief Justice to summon the chief secretary and ask him about the depleting forests in the province.

Giving details, the advocate general told the court that a total of 1,45,000 acres of forest land had been encroached upon out of which over 70,000 acres had been leased out to influential people.

He further submitted that majority of influential people getting the land were near and dear ones of the provincial cabinet members due to which the government could not reclaim the land.

At this, the court directed the Sindh government to take effective and speedy measures for taking possession of the land.

The court also cancellation of all allotments illegally awarded to influential people on lease and submission of a compliance report

The court also directed the Survey General of Pakistan to conduct a survey of all the forests across the country and submit a report within three weeks and adjourned hearing.