- SC retracts notification summoning JUI-F leader, others
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday questioned why former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif had been given a bulletproof car, while retracting an earlier notification summoning Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami-Fazl (JUI-F) Chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others for using luxury vehicles at the expense of the government.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a a suo motu case against the utilisation of luxury vehicles by federal and provincial ministers and government officers beyond their entitlement.
‘WHY WAS SHEHBAZ GIVEN BULLET PROOF CAR’:
During the proceedings, the CJP asked, “under which law was Shehbaz Sharif given a bulletproof car.” To this, the Punjab chief secretary said that Shehbaz was given a bulletproof car as he faced security threats.
“Please tell us where it says that a bulletproof car should be given to those facing security threats,” remarked Justice Nisar.
The chief justice also questioned the placement of barricades in the vicinity of Shehbaz’s Model Town residence. He said the blockades have been placed at a spot designated as a children’s park. The chief secretary replied that the area is now used as a parking space and the barricades have been removed.
RETRACTS NOTIFICATION SUMMONING JUI-F LEADER, OTHERS:
Furthermore, the apex court retracted an earlier notification summoning JUI-F chairman and others for using luxury vehicles at the expense of the government.
Earlier, the court had summoned JUI-F leaders and former minister Kamran Michael for possessing the luxury vehicles.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Nayyar Rizvi told the bench that Kamran, Rehman have returned their cars. Likewise, Haideri will also be returning the vehicles.
During the previous hearing of the case, Justice Nisar had ordered all unverified cars being used by ministers and public employees to be confiscated.
Commenting on Fazl’s use of a government bulletproof vehicle, Justice Nisar said the JUI-F leader is protected by many and will remain safe in the event of an attack on his person, and questioned why the JUI-F chief is using the people’s money for his personal protection.
Counsel for the leader stated that Fazl has been targetted thrice, to which the chief justice replied that the JUI-F leader should arrange for his own security.
CJP DIRECTS SEVEN FORMER BALOCHISTAN MINISTERS TO RETURN CARS
Additional Attorney General Nayyar Abbas Rizvi presented a report regarding the luxury vehicles being used by members of the federal cabinet and departments of the federation to the court.
The additional attorney general informed the court that a total of 56 cars were in use by ministers in Balochistan of which 49 have been recovered.
To this, the Supreme Court directed seven former Balochistan ministers to return the official cars by tonight.
“If they do not return the cars by tonight, they will be fined Rs100,000 annually,” the CJP upheld.
He added, “And if they do not return the cars within this week then the fine would be raised to Rs200,000 per day.”
Further, the additional attorney general said a total of 105 luxury vehicles were in the use of the federal government and the cabinet of which only three are left to be recovered.
In response to a question asked by the CJP on the usage of bullet proof cars by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari, lawyer Farooq Naik told the bench that they use their own personal cars.
Justice Nisar also added that court will not allow the use of bulletproof vehicles for the upcoming election campaigns.
On May 31, the bench, hearing a suo motu case pertaining to officials using luxury vehicles, also disallowed use of government-owned bulletproof vehicles during elections and directed authorities to withdraw such vehicles being used ministers and public servants.