ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday observed that consensus had been developed for construction of two dams in the country.

The top judge observed that the consensus was evolved during key meetings with experts and stakeholders during past few days.

He said that the recovered amount from 222 individuals and companies, who got their loans written off, would be utilised for the construction of the new dams.

The Supreme Court also ordered for formation of a special bench to decide whether the matters pertaining to written-off loans be sent to the banking court or be heard in top court.

A two-judge special bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar was hearing the case regarding Rs54 billion written-off loans.

Previously, the top court issued notices to 222 companies, asking them either to pay 75 percent of the amount or face the banking court along with an attachment of their assets.

During Saturday’s hearing, the CJ observed that some of the companies had agreed on returning 75 percent of their written-off loans.

He said those defaulters who wanted to contest their cases would be referred to banking courts. He again made it clear that the assets of such defaulters will be attached and they will have to submit written-off amount to this court till final determination of the cases by the banking court.

The chief justice also remarked that the banking court may be issued directives to decide the cases within three days and in case of adverse decision the defaulters will have to pay full amounts of the bad loans.

Advocate Farooq H Naek, appearing on behalf of some companies, contended before the bench that his clients had not written-off loans on political basis.

On this, the chief justice asked the counsel to select the option in a day as it was an important matter.

During the hearing, Justice Munib Akhtar observed that the bench had devised a formula for recovery of the amount. As per it, the loan taken will be minus from the amount returned and multiplied with 75 percent, he said, adding that it was the best option for the defaulters.

The CJP commended Justice Munib by saying that it can be understood now why he (Munib) was elevated to the Supreme Court.

He observed that everyone criticised the appointment of Justice Munib and bar councils passed a resolution against his elevation to Supreme Court but now the detractors must have seen his calibre. The CJP added that he was proud of his recommendation of Justice Munib for elevation.

Later, the bench ordering for formation of a special bench adjourned the hearing till July 4.

Strategy to construct dams on anvil: Minister

APP adds: Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Barrister Syed Ali Zafar Saturday said the government was devising a strategy to opt various measures to construct more dams and cope with water crisis in the country.

Talking to PTV, the minister, who also held the portfolio of water and power minister, said the ministry had called a meeting of water and economic experts to develop strategy which also formulated measures to construct dams including Bhasha Dam for storage of water.

Regarding the meeting of the Federal Cabinet held earlier with Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk in chair, the minister said it discussed all main issues like water shortage, economic affairs, repatriation of Afghan refugees and ensuring free and fair general elections.

To a question, he said all national institutions including judiciary, investigation agencies and others were working within their domains and the caretaker government would implement all the court decisions.

He said elimination of terrorism, money laundering and corruption were in the best national interest as it could only guarantee the national development and prosperity.

Replying to a question, he said Pakistan had already been placed on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list in February last.

The FATF in its recent meeting in Paris also participated by Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar asked the Pakistan to swiftly implement the plan of action to eliminate money laundering, incidents of ransom and terrorism from the country to save the country from moving towards the black list.