Detailed report sought in Saaf Pani scam

The Lahore High Court on Friday sought a detailed report about the budget and expenditures of Punjab Saaf Pani Company, and directed Anti-Corruption director general to appear in person over alleged corruption of Rs7 billion.  Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case and observed that the nation wanted to know about the spending of Rs7b of the project. He observed that the court could not tolerate corruption in public money.  Petitioner Sania Kanwal told the court that billions of rupees from the national exchequer were being spent on foreign tours of the company officials.  The company chief executive and other officials also appeared before the court and said that a report on Dubai tours had already been submitted to the court.  However, Justice Naqvi rejected it for being incomplete and sought detailed report on budget and expenditures of the company.  Justice Naqvi that court should be informed that which project was it for which the interviews were being conducted in UAE.  The Judge also asked the CEO to apprise the court about his salary. The CEO told the court that his salary was Rs1.4 million and he had also served as LDA DG. On it, Justice Naqvi expressed dismay that LDA record was burnt to ashes; public money was being looted.  “Was there no expert consultant in Pakistan who could be consulted for the project that you were going to UAE,” the judge asked the company’s CEO.  “Bulletproof vehicles could have been taken from the government on temporary basis rather than buying permanent vehicles”  The CEO pleaded the court to allow exception from appearance before the court on the next hearing. The court denied his request observing that such excuses are unacceptable “You have to appear before the court on every date of hearing,”. It should be cleared that where Rs 7 billion of public money were spent,” the judge observed. Justice Naqvi also asked the Punjab Anti-Corruption DG to appear in person on the next date of hearing,  and adjourned the case until Sept 28.  –Staff Reporter


LHC full bench to hear petitions against Kalsoom next week

An LHC full bench will hear pleas against the candidature of Kalsoom Nawaz next week. Justice Aminuddin Khan will head the bench while Justice Ibadur Rehamn Lodhi and Justice Shahid Jamil are other members.  It is the third full bench constituted for hearing appeals against Kalsoom – the PML-N candidate for NA-120 by-election scheduled for September 17. On August 30, these appeals came up for the hearing before the full bench under Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan but he declined hearing due to personal reasons. The CJ formed another bench, comprises Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi but Justice Shams also refused over personal reasons.  The appeals against Kalsoom were filed by PTI candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid and her covering candidate Andleeb Abbas, PTI nominee Faisal Mir and PAT’s Ishtiaq Ahmad Chaudhry. –Staff Reporter


Court stays appointment of Nadra deputy chairman

The LHC Friday stayed the appointment of Muzaffar Shah as Nadra deputy chairman and restrained him from taking part in the board meetings. CJ Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the orders on a petition filed by Awaisur Rehman. The CJ questioned as to how  Nadra deputy chairman was appointed when there was no such office with the authority. He ordered high-ups to abide by court order. Earlier, petitioner told the court that Muzaffar Shah cannot sit in the board meetings under the law. He said Islamabad High Court had set aside his appointment as deputy chairman. He prayed the court to restrain him from functioning as deputy chairman. The court adjourned hearing until Oct 18. –Staff Reporter