SC directs courts to dispose of Pakistan Railways cases


LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday ordered all high courts and subordinate courts to decide the cases related to Pakistan Railways within the next two months.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the orders while hearing a case regarding alleged illegal allotment of railways land on lease for years.

At the outset of the proceedings, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed and old administration of the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, appeared before the court.

The old administration informed the court that the possession of the club had been given to AF Ferguson, an accounting firm, in response to a bench query. The administration further submitted that 10-year old record of the club was available with the Railways.

At this, the chief justice observed that AF Ferguson would not carry out the audit of the club, rather the auditor general of Pakistan would do the job. The matter regarding legal status of Royal Palm Club lease would be heard in Islamabad, he added.

He asked whether an illegal cinema house was established at the club, besides a marriage hall, which was not allowed. He said that the old administration would be held accountable for every step.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed submitted that Rs 123 billion worth railways cases were pending in courts across the country.

To which, the bench directed for providing a list of the pending cases with courts.

However, the minister complained that he did not have powers to change the Railways legal team.

The chief justice asked why he could not change the team. “Who is the team head,” he asked.

Sheikh Rasheed submitted that Advocate Tahir Pervaiz was head of the legal team and he had obtained a stay order from the high court against his removal.

The chief justice asked Advocate Tahir Pervaiz that if the Railways administration did not want to keep him, why he wanted to remain on job.

To which, Tahir Pervaiz replied that he was appointed through a process and his contractual term had not expired yet.

At this, the chief justice expressed dismay observing that he knew how he got the job. “Shall I disclose it in the open court,” the CJP asked. However, Tahir Pervaiz submitted that Sheikh Rasheed could not expel him from the job.

The chief justice observed that the court could dismiss him, while seeking the record of the stay order against his removal for Saturday.