- CJP questions former Punjab CM over hiring govt officials ‘on such high salaries’
LAHORE: Former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday appeared before the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry after being summoned by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar in a case pertaining to the salary structure of government officers and alleged corruption in 56 public sector companies.
A two-member bench, headed by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing of the case and questioned the former CM to explain how government officials were “hired on such high salaries”.
Shehbaz told the bench that this is not the first time such companies were formed; in fact, they already exist in other provinces of the country. He further requested the court to grant him time to submit his response.
Chief Justice Nisar questioned under which law were the officers receiving salaries in millions. Shehbaz responded that he had saved the [national exchequer] Rs160 billion.
The former CM further added that if the court managed to find any corruption in the companies, then it could take whatever action necessary to recover the money.
Earlier, during the hearing, the provincial attorney general told the apex court that Sharif did not have any role in the companies. To this, the CJP remarked, “Every activity in Punjab takes place with Shehbaz’s consent.”
The court also ordered National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to estimate the wealth of chief executive officers of six companies.
On April 28, the Supreme Court had ordered the heads of 56 public companies, which are being investigated in a corruption probe, to draw salaries as per their pay scale.
Furthermore, Chief Justice Nisar remarked that the extra amount should be returned.
“Billions of rupees were spent but there is not a single drop of water available for people. We won’t allow any person to use tax money,” he added.
On Monday, NAB had summoned Shehbaz Sharif in a probe pertaining to alleged corruption in Punjab Saaf Pani Company.
The company was established by the Punjab government to conceive, plan, design, execute and manage projects for the provision of safe drinking water, in terms of both access and quality, to the communities living in the rural areas of the province.
CJP VISITS JINNAH HOSPITAL:
Following the hearing, the CJP visited Jinnah Hospital where he inspected the wards and reprimanded the administration over a non-functional lift.
During his visit, the CJP asserted that the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for the hospital should be implemented.