Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday grilled the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) in a case pertaining to computerization of the record contained by the authority.

A three-member bench of the top court resumed the hearing and inquired the FBR, “How the highly sensitive data was given to a private company? Does the FBR give the task of tax collection to that private company as well?”

The top judge further observed that family members of high ranking officers of the FBR were employees of that private company.

The apex court ordered the FBR to answer the questions raised by a high court to the private company.

To this, the attorney general told the court that the company was not private instead “a public limited” that develops software only and does not collect taxes.

“Without any reason, billions of rupees are refunded […] should we abolish the company and ask the NAB to investigate into the matter?” CJP Gulzar remarked. “FBR should perform its work by itself.”

The attorney general informed the court that no government employee was taking any salary from the company.

FBR chairperson Nausheen Amjad told the court that technical individuals do not join the civil service due to low wages.

“Their salaries are even less than the general manager of the private company,” she said.

The CJP asked about the benefit of establishment of the private company to the FBR. “Did FBR’s tax recovery increased by it?”

“We know the game FBR officers play with online passwords […] there’re several cases of illegal tax refunds pending with the courts.”

Justice Ejazul Ahsan asked that the persons who have access to the FBR’s data in the company must be identified to the court.

“The court must also be told if the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules were violated during signing of a contract between the FBR and the private company.”

The court adjourned the hearing for one month.