The Supreme Court (SC) has remarked that the EOBI (Employees Old Age Benefit Institute) chairman and all other officers were not sincere to their employees, therefore, they were using delaying tactics deliberately in retaining or returning the embezzled property.
The comments were passed by a two-member SC bench headed by Justice Ejaz Chaudhry and comprising Justice Azmat Saeed that was hearing the EOBI case on Wednesday.
Expressing annoyance with EOBI Chairman Muhammad Ayub, Justice Azmat Saeed remarked, “Billions of rupees of EOBI have gone out but the chairman has not yet made any decision what needs to be done. Board of Trustee has not been completed. The EOBI is not declaring the entire matter as fraud. It wants all parties buried in their graves and then they will make a decision. The culprits are given benefit of doubt. Why don’t you want to give this benefit to the court?”
He further observed “Why is the federal government not deciding the members of Board of Trustee (BoT). Will we have to wait for it for centuries? We will not give much time in this respect. We have to give a decision and someone will have to take the responsibility. The parties say take money from us and let us off. Such vague things will not work.”
Justice Ejaz Chaudhry said, “What matter can we decide when the BoT has not been framed. The attorney general (AG) was called. Had he appeared it would have been easier for us to give decision. What can we do, we will not allow any injustice to be done with anyone. Therefore, we are saying that first of all the EOBI should decide and then other parties should deposit the respective amount.”
AAG Shah Khawar told the court that the matter was not being decided not because of an incomplete BoTs. “Those who are talking of returning the money want to escape investigation.”
Tariq Mehmood, counsel for EdenGarden, told the court they had deposited Rs 220 million but the amount had not been received.
The court again allowed him to deposit the amount, saying the amount be deposited at such a time when EOBI takes any decision on retaining property or returning it.
The counsel for EOBI said the matter was mentioned to be of billions of rupees in suo motu notice, but the facts were not such.
The court remarked that the matter was not as insignificant.
“What can be your concern when there are poor people suffering in the matter. You are enjoying a sweet sleep of ease and comfort.”
The court allowed time to the federal government to appoint members of EOBI BoT until November 18 and warned that if no headway was made, the personal secretary of the prime minister would be summoned in person.