ISLAMABAD – The Public Account Committee (PAC) has sought legal opinion from the Federal Law Ministry over the issue of Supreme Court’s denial to present its accounts before the committee.

The Supreme Court in the previous meeting of PAC had refused to submit details of its accounts and had said in a letter, issued by the SC registrar, that as per the Constitution, the apex court was not bound to be audited by the PAC, adding that only the president had the authority to look into the conduct of Supreme Court and its judges.

Committee’s additional secretary told the members that the issue of non-appearance was also raised in 2006, but the Supreme Court registrar had been appearing before the committee in the past.

It is pertinent to mention that Chaudhry Nisar, during his tenure, had raised the issue of auditing the accounts of Supreme Court but without any success and now the present PAC chairman, Nadeem Afzal Gondal, started the debate again.

This time round, the Supreme Court again clearly has mentioned that it cannot be audited by the PAC as it does not enjoy the authority to investigate code of conduct of the honourable court and the judges.

Meanwhile, the PAC also discussed the audit report of Pakistan Post office for the year 2004, 05, 06 and 2007. Nadeem Afzal Chan said discrimination in salaries of employees was violation of the Constitution, as he asked the Finance Department to explain why the employees of some organisations had been given dual salaries in the façade of special allowance. He directed the authorities concerned to give structure of the pay scales in different departments and stop discrimination.

The PAC also decided to hold meetings in all the provincial headquarters to judge the performance of various organisations.

Earlier, the powerful body of the National Assembly expressed resentment over the poor performance of Director General Post Ghulam Sever Panjtan and the secretary of the Ministry of Postal Services. The committee directed them to take stern action against irregularities in the department and elements behind it.

The chairman directed the officials to fix the responsibility against responsible persons, including ex-director general Maj-Gen (r) Agha Masood-ul-Hasan and summoned him during the next meeting of the committee.

The meeting also observed that certain projects had been initiated by Pakistan Post just to obtain funds but on practical grounds no activity had been seen, showing a complete failure of the management.

It was also discussed in the PAC that many employees working on daily wages were involved in corruption as they were reported to have been receiving Rs 200 as bribe each from the beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).