Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has directed the provincial Chief Secretaries to evacuate the grabbed land of Pakistan Railways (PR) and submit a detailed report in three weeks. The court has directed to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take action against the people involved in corruption in the light of audit report of railway and ordered to send the audit report to NAB authorities in which railway corruption has been pointed out.
The court directed to the railway officials to arrange a meeting of railway engineers for restoration of Railways with Sheikh Rashid Ahmad in the presence of Registrar Supreme Court has sought the forensic audit report of PR on next date of hearing.
A three members bench of Apex Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprises of Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Amir Hani Muslim conduct the hearing of suo moto case against non-payment of pensions and salaries to the Railways employees on Wednesday.
The chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during the course of hearing said that the responsible for destroyed condition of railways should be handcuffed and sent to the jail adding that it seems that no body is sympathetic with the nation.
He said that railways would be restore but the involved in the destruction of railways should be identified through a forensic audit, adding that nobody can occupy the lands of PR because it is the matter of survival for PR and the railways has been come to this worst situation due to corruption and the PEPRA rule have been violated in purchasing of railway engines.
The railways officials presented a report in the Supreme Court and contended that the scrap of PR was sold in throwaway prices and this issue has been sent to NAB for further investigation and the department is facing losses due to the illegal occupation of its land while steps are being taken for the vacation of PR grabbed land.
The report also said that 20 failed engines of PR were repaired in the workshops of PR and the PR officials told the apex court that the help of Punjab government is needed to take back the grabbed lands of PR responding to that Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked the officials whether they have contacted with the Punjab government for the vacation of PR land, while Justice Amir Hani Muslim has said that there is a law regarding taking back the land why the law for vacation of land is not being implemented.
During the course of hearing the CJ remarked that the railways is putting burden over national exchequer according to its capacity and now it has become a tradition of purchase new thing instead of repairing the old ones.
CJ inquired that why the PR is interested in purchasing new engines beside of the repairing facility in the country and important institution including heavy mechanical complex is present for the repairing of engines.
He said that the apex court has received the report of loopholes in PR and it was said in the report that a large area of land has been occupied by Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary, adding that the non-eligibility of PR officials is reason of failure of the PR department.
Former federal minister for railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad during the hearing said that due to the notice of Supreme Court 20 failed engines were repaired within a month and rest of 400 engines are awaiting for the Suo Moto notice of apex court, adding that the nation has a great hope from the apex court.
Giving the reference of railway audit report Sheikh Rashid said that 21 billion rupees are required to purchase new engines and the parts for repair are available but engines are not being repaired, adding that all efforts are being done for the sale of PR land and there is no hope except Supreme Court to save the PR.
He said that corruption in PR is its peak, adding that different government institution are defaulter of worth of 224 million rupees of PR and the PR was damaged with a loss of 558 in different tenders and a loss of 961 million rupees has been given to PR in Sui Gas supply matters.
The counsel of Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Salman Akram Raja during the proceeding said that a historical agreement for the purchase of locomotive engines was made for a worth of 650 million dollars and million of rupee’s corruption has been committed in this regard; meanwhile Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that PR land of worth of 200 billion is present in the occupation of Karachi cantt.
The CJ remarked that no body is sincere with the nation, adding that who is responsible for these irregularities. We are thinking the formal corruption as root of evil, adding that the failed engines were not repaired for the purchasing of new engines; meanwhile the CJ remarked that the chief reason is the destruction of structure of PR due to the appointment of blue eyed people.
The Chairman Senate Standing Committee of Railways Ayaz Sadiq told the apex court that PR can be restored but no body is willing to restore it, adding that the railway board had not been constituted for last three years due to which the department faced irregularities and mismanagement and railways is running from last three years without any authority.
During the hearing the member of railway board Shafiqullah admitted that the railway board cannot be established, adding that the prime minister issued notification for the establishment of PR board in 2010 but the issue has been hanged between the law ministry and council of common interest and it was possible to stop the irregularities in presence of the board.
Justice Amir Hani Muslim remarked that the railway engines were damaged due to the supply of useless oil and the responsible should be identified; meanwhile the CJ direct the Attorney General Molvi Anwaul Haq to find out the reasons why the railway board cannot be formed instead of the notification issued by prime minister. Later on, the apex court adjourned the hearing for three weeks, issuing directives to submit report of forensic audit on next hearing.