CJP hears notices on PKLI, Punjab’s mega project at SC Lahore registry

August 24, 2018

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will hear suo motu notices on Pakistan Kidnay and Liver Institute (PKLI) and the mega projects initiated in Punjab over the last five years, among other petitions, at Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.

Two benches were formed at the court to hear cases scheduled for the day. Bench 1 comprised CJP, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, while the other one had Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Manzoor Malik and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.

The advocate general of Punjab and secretary health appeared in court for hearing on PKLI.

During the hearing, forensic auditor Kokab Zuberi presented a report based on his findings, according to which the project of PKLI was estimated to be completed in Rs12.7 billion but the cost has gone up to Rs53 billion.

So far Rs20 billion have been spent on the institute, while allocation of Rs33 billion has been advised for the current fiscal year, Zuberi added.

Besides, infrastructure of the institute had to be completed by December 2017 but it still stands incomplete, the forensic auditor said. Not only this, but the present structure has started becoming derelict with leaking roofs.

The chief justice remarked that approval for PKLI was not sought from Executive Committee of the National Economic Council. At a hearing in June, the chief justice sought a reply from PKLI and the Punjab government after misappropriation of Punjab money at the institute surfaced in an audit report.

The CJP regretted that a hefty amount of millions was being paid in salaries at PKLI, while Rs2 million was going in the pocket of the head of the institute’s head each month.

While hearing the suo motu notice on mega projects, the chief justice expressed anger over Orange Line Metro Train scheme lying incomplete in Lahore, seeking a time frame for its completion.

The chief justice remarked that the people of Lahore have faced immense difficulties because of the project lying incomplete. To this, a representative of Habib Construction Services said more than 90% work on the project was completed. He added rest of it had to be done by a Chinese company, which could take three to four months.

He also told the court that last two cheques for the project had bounced, to which the chief justice asked how cheques issued by the state could bounce.

Justice Nisar therefore asked the finance secretary for a response over the matter and ordered that the project be completed at the earliest.  NNI