ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to explain his position about disbursement of Rs 47 billion among legislators and notables just one week before the completion of the PPP government’s tenure.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, held that neither any payment from PW-11 funds would be paid nor would they lapse till the conclusion of the case.

The chief justice remarked that the incumbent government should deliver otherwise it should be aware of the consequences. He said corruption was a very serious issue which must be controlled by PML-N. The bench informed the attorney general of the background of allocation of funds to parliamentarians under People’s Works Programme (PWP-1)/Tarmeer-e- Wattan Programme, criterion, procedure and results of spending the funds of taxpayers.

Similarly, the court also informed the AGP of the PWP-11 under which the budgetary allocation of billions of rupees was made and used for distribution at the discretion of prime minister.

The court noted that in the instant case, Rs 47 billion were distributed against the allocated amount of Rs 22 billion after transferring it from Bhasha Dam, HEC and other important projects.

The court said prima facie no objection was raised by the secretaries and the staff of the prime minister when the government was just going to complete its tenure on March 15-16, 2013. Also the executing agencies, PWD, Sui Southern Gas and Pepco as well as provincial works departments, issued orders to release the funds without following the rules and regulations.

An official of the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue informed the court that Abdul Khaliq, the then federal finance secretary, and a deputy secretary from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat pressurised the AGPR to release the funds to legislators and notables.

According to a report submitted by the Auditor General of Pakistan, the funds were given to about 100 legislators and notables. The list of the notables included the names of Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Moonis Elahi, Raja Basharat and others. The names of the notables were not mentioned, but they were granted Rs 40 million to Rs 50 million. Not only that in one of the cases Rs 20 million were allocated to the aviation office for holding a meeting.

Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry said the money was transferred from March 13 to March 15. The court said orders would be issued to recover the money from the officials who carried out illegal orders.

The court observed that when the case was instituted, an attempt was made to release the outstanding amount. The acting PWD DG told the court they had detected embezzlement of Rs 210 billion and had suspended two XENs, Khalid Qureshi and Khalid Malik.

The bench directed the SC office to issue notices to the officers responsible for delinquency so that they could defend themselves in the court.

All the functionaries, former and incumbent office holders of the ministries concerned were directed to provide necessary assistance to the court and the attorney general of Pakistan.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.