Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took on Tuesday notice of distribution of development funds among lawmakers of the ruling party and its allies. While presiding over a case in government advertisements separate case, the chief justice remarked that the court is hearing reports that development funds are being doled out by the government.
He questioned whether giving funds worth millions so close to the general elections qualifies as pre-poll rigging, He added that under what law are the funds being distributed to lawmakers. The court then directed the additional attorney general to inform it of the legality of the move after consulting the government.
A Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government official told the court that the provincial government had spent Rs1.63 billion on media campaigns during its five-year tenure ending this year. Today, the KP information secretary submitted the government’s record of ad expenditures over the last three months in court. From Dec 1 to Feb 28, the KP government spent Rs240m on its own advertisements, the secretary told the court, adding that in these three months, not a single ad contained a photograph of KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak or PTI chief Imran Khan.He pointed that the verdict in the case may be issued today. Justice Umar Ata Bandial pointed out that the funds used for advertisements were taken from the national kitty, and the CJP said the court would order the provincial government to return such funds to the exchequer.—INP