SHC orders AGP to conduct forensic audit of flood relief spending

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The Sindh High Court has ordered the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to conduct a ‘forensic audit’ of the billions of rupees which the Sindh government has spent to provide relief of the rain and flood affected people of the province.

The SHC bench comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Adnan-ul-Karim Memon issued the verdict Thursday on the reports of various civil judges and judicial magistrates, who were assigned inspection of the relief operations, unearthed serious deficiencies in the relief exercise.

The order was given in a petition filed by Advocate Mumtaz Lashari, who complained that the affected people had been deprived of adequate relief and that no measures were being taken to drain rain and flood water from the rural areas of the province.”The reports are in direct conflict to what has been stated by the Additional Advocate General Sindh [who represented the government in the court],” read the order.

The bench observed that the reports showed that the flood affected people had not been given the due relief against what was being claimed by the provincial government.

The court noted that in variance to the judicial reports, Additional Sindh Advocate General Allah Bachayo Soomro had submitted reports of up to the mark relief operations. Though the National Disaster Management Authority had submitted a report, no official of the Authority was present in the court despite notice during the hearing, it added.The SHC summoned the NDMA’s chairman in the next hearing on October 27 and ordered the Sindh chief secretary to explain the utilization of the funds.

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