LAHORE - A two-member bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday gave six weeks to the federal government to audit Pakistan Railways to determine colossal loss of Rs60 billion.

The top court passed the order on a suo motu notice against the Rs60 billion loss of Pakistan Railways at the Supreme Court Lahore registry. Justice Umar Ata Bandial was the other member of the bench. The bench directed the government to hire the servicers of a renowned chartered accountancy firm AF Furgosun to carry out the audit.

As the hearing commenced, the CJP expressed dismay over absence of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, observing that “Who has given him exemption”. The CJP directed the staff to call the minister, saying that “Call him and we’ll speak in front of him,”

Complying with the court orders, Khwaja Saad Rafiq appeared before the court and started his plea, with the words “honourable chief justice” on which the CJP showed serious reaction and asked him to omit word “honourable”. “There is huge difference in your words in and outside the court,” the top judge observed.

“If the judges are honourable here in the courtroom they should be honourable outside the courtroom,” the top judge further remarked. On it, the minister said that people and the government were getting relief, submitting that his department work tirelessly and they looked for the SC’s appreciation.

At this, the bench observed that they would appreciate the Railways if no irregularity is found in the audit report. The bench said they would try to establish the best system.

The chief justice said they were ordering an audit of the Railways on which the minister said that the audit should be done about the 10 years performance of the present and the past governments. The CJP, however, turned down his suggestion, giving remarks that the audit of the performance of those who are in power will be conducted.

The minister pleaded that they tried their best to reform the railways’ system of the country so two lines of praise would boost their morale. However, the CJP observed that they should wait for the audit report. “There would be praised if the audit report is found satisfactory,” the CJP said.

Previously, the CJP took suo motu notice of colossal loss to Rs60b. Pakistan Railways had said in the National Assembly that there was huge loss of Rs20.6 billion between 2017 and January 2018.