ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Judicial Council Thursday framed charges against Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) Akhtar Buland Rana regarding allegations of corruption, levelled by Public Accounts Committee.

The SJC comprised of Chief Justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk, two senior most judges of the Supreme Court Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, and two most senior chief justices of high courts.

The Council under Article 209 of the Constitution mainly hears the references against judges of superior judiciary, but as removal procedure of auditor general is similar to the judges of the apex court therefore it heard the complaint against Mr Buland.

The SJC on September 26, after receiving complaint from National Assembly Secretariat, had issued a show-cause notice to the AGP. The PAC on the recommendations of its sub-committee had filed complaint against him praying to disqualify Mr Buland as auditor general.

Additional Attorney General Afnan Kundi and Waqar Rana appeared in the Thursday hearing on behalf of the Public Accounts Committee. The allegations against the AGP are that he had withdrawn Rs4.62 million from the exchequer on account of excess salary and privileges in violation of standard rules and regulations. PAC Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah’s report says that Rana was getting 20 per cent additional salary in comparison with a Grade 22 officer, and under the monetization policy, he availed more than Rs3.1 million between January and March 2014.

The PAC had been directed to supply the list of witnesses and the evidence by January 21, 2015 against the auditor general. On the next date of hearing the court would fix the date for recording Buland Rana’s statement and his cross examination. After that he would be allowed to present witnesses and evidence in his defence.

The PAC sub-committee had recommended for filing reference against Buland Rana for disqualification under Article 209 (5) read with Article 168 (5) of the Constitution. PAC Chairman Khursheed Shah had presented the fact-finding report in the NA on August 11.