SC orders complete audit of Pakistan Railways

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered to conduct audit into the accounts of the Pakistan Railways after the incumbent minister Khwaja Saad Rafique told the court that the Railways is earning a revenue of Rs 50 billion.

Federal Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique appeared before a two member bench headed by the chief justice on Monday which heard the proceedings of the suo moto case over Rs 60 billion losses to the Railways.

The summon orders of the minister was issued on last hearing of the apex court in Lahore on April 07 and he was directed to explain the situation in his ministry.

During the court proceedings today, the CJP reprimanded Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique for his statements defending his department. The CJP observed that the time when institutions were disrespected has passed. “You should have seen what your body language was like. If you don’t respect the institutions, then no one will respect you,” chief justice remarked while speaking to the railways minister.

Reasoning his behaviour, Rafique said that the statements made by him at different locations were against his political opponents. “There is a misunderstanding which I want to clear. I can leave if you don’t want to hear me out,” he said. Responding to this, the Chief Justice remarked: “We are well-aware of your intentions. If you leave the court then contempt proceedings will be initiated against you.”

Rafique also shared that the revenue of railways department is Rs50 billion with a deficit of Rs35 billion. “There are many reasons behind the losses. If you conduct an audit then you will become content with our performance,” he said.

The railways minister also added that there will be visible improvement in the department in the next 12 years. Over which, the CJP remarked: “Should the court then allow you to continue your appointment without contesting elections for the next 12”.

In last hearing, the chief justice remarked that claims were made of the institution running on profit in the public gatherings but the situation on ground is quite different from it.

The CJP applauded the Indian Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and said that despite being an illiterate, he made the railways a profit earning institution in India.”His theory is now taught in Harvard University,” he said.

He remarked that this is not a kingdom in which the King is authorized to do whatever he wanted to and directed the minister and concerned officers to appear before the court in next hearing scheduled for April 12.The court also directed the officials to appear before the court with relevant documents and apprise the court regarding the reasons for the losses.

The minister also responded to the summon on Twitter and said that he was deeply hurt by the judges remarks and is ready to brief the court on the situation at any time. “After briefing, the court will applaud our efforts,” he said.

Orignally published by INP

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