ISLAMABAD - Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday directed Director General (DG) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to submit a report about pilots holding bogus flying licenses.

The apex court also directed DG CAA, chief executive officers (CEOs) of Pakistan International Airline, Air Blue and Serene Air to appear before it in person and file reports about pilots holding fake degrees and flying licenses in two weeks time.

A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed issued these directions while hearing the suo moto notice of the federal and the provincial governments steps to combat coronavirus pandemic.

During the hearing, Justice Gulzar remarked that these pilots fly the passenger planes which was a matter of great concern and serious offence under the law. He added that they were astonished that pilot holding fake licenses were flying passenger and commercial planes.

While hearing the suo moto case, the apex court also restrained the Sindh government from spending Rs4 billion, which the provincial government allocated in the provincial budget 2020-21 for purchasing luxury vehicles.

The CJP asked from Sindh Advocate General that why instead of using funds for development projects like water, electricity, infrastructure, health and education, Rs4 billion were allocated for purchasing expensive vehicles for the government servants. The advocate generals of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan said that their governments had not allocated funds for purchasing vehicles.

The bench raised the question over the working of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) regarding controlling COVID-19 and locusts. The Chief Justice said that the Authority was spending left and right without supervision. “Whole Pakistan is handed over to NDMA,” the CJP remarked.

He said that the NDMA was importing Remdesivir, which was used for the treatment of COVID-19. “Are these medicines provided to public sector hospitals? Are medicines being used in government hospitals under the supervision of doctors?” the Chief Justice asked.

The Attorney General informed the court that the NDMA was audited by the Auditor General of Pakistan. He added that NDMA was facilitating the procurement of medicines.

At this, Justice Gulzar said that the import of medicines should be done with the approval of DRAP. He noted that the NDMA has sought approval from DRAP for import of 7,000 vials of Remdesivir. However, the DRAP gave approval with certain conditions. The bench noted that no material was submitted regarding fulfilling of conditions by NDMA.

The apex court directed NDMA to provide details about the import of machinery by M/s Al-Hafeez and DESTO company for manufacturing of N-95 mask. It asked from the NDMA representative to supply the airway bill, value of machine, whether the tax and duty was paid and for whom they manufacture the N-95 masks.

The bench expressed concern that why the NDMA chartered a plane for importing machinery from China for producing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The Chief Justice asked whether the facilitation of importing machinery was provided to other companies as well?

The court noted that the NDMA favoured the company for importing the machinery. The NDMA was asked to explain why special favour was given to the company.

The Chief Justice said that no individual should be given favor. He said that the owner of the company would have become a billionaire in two days. He added that he did not know what happened to the rest of the people and companies?

Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that people had become billionaires overnight due to cornonavirus disease. He said that he did not know who were the partners of this company? “The government has not done such a favor to any company. The work was done by the owner of the company sitting at home,” the Chief Justice said.

He further said that the fate of the country would change if other sectors also get such facility. Justice Gulzar asked if the government had to provide facility to businessmen then an advertisement should be placed in the newspaper.

He remarked that if the government did so, an industrial revolution would take place in the country. Production would increase so much that the dollar would be between Rs 20 to 25.

He asked that from where Pakistanis coming from the Middle East would be fed. “Should they go wherever they want after 14 days in quarantine as  between 50,000 and 100,000 workers were returning from the Middle East, he said.

The Chief Justice remarked that people were graduating from educational institutions. What is the way to feed them? What if the government had an economic policy? He continued that what is the future vision of the government. How would the government solve the problems of the people?  Was there a consensus in Parliament on public issues, Justice Gulzar asked.

He maintained that rhetoric on TV would not fill stomach of the people. He said that the people need food, petrol, education, health and employment. He said that the Prime Minister had said that the Chief Minister of a province was a dictator, what would be the explanation of such a statement?

He added that the entire government could not be held hostage by 20 people. He said that if the government had a will, no one could stop the government. He said that the government should take action according to the law.

The Chief Justice asked that 16 million tons of wheat was stolen from Sindh, what happened to it? On this, the Attorney General said that the problem of locust-heart is a provincial one and they are helping to eradicate it. Later, the bench deferred the hearing for three weeks in this matter.