A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Nisar, resumed hearing the case at apex court’s Lahore Registry.
During the court proceedings, the CJP enquired where the railways minister was. To which the railway secretary, replied that the minister had not been summoned to appear before the court for today’s hearing.
“Please call Railway minister, we will speak in front of him,” the top judge said.
On April 14, the apex court had ordered the complete audit of Pakistan Railways during the case hearing.
Moreover, the CJP had also 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.”
Supreme Court orders complete audit of Pakistan Railways
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.
On April 7, the top judge had taken suo motu notice of alleged Rs60 billion corruption in the Pakistan Railways. The top judge had also summoned railways minister, secretary and board members along with the audit report.
He had observed that Indian former railways minister Lalu Prasad was not well-educated yet he made the Indian Railways very profitable. “Today, the reforms brought about by Lalu Prasad are being taught at Harvard University,” he added.
On the other hand, in Pakistan, the railways is only said to be profitable only in rallies. “But the claims are far from reality,” he remarked, asserting “This is not a kingdom where people are free to do as they please.”