ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court Pakistan will on Monday (today) continue its session in matters relating to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court suo moto notifying government steps taken to curb the spread of the corona virus in the country.
The five-member bench from the top court headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Gulzar Ahmed will hold a hearing on the suo motto in which it is said that the federal and provincial governments, the Capital Territory of Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) must elaborate further on the distribution of money.
Earlier, Pakistan’s high court had said this while expressing its dissatisfaction with the distribution of funds and rations that said there was no mechanism to distribute Zakat and Bailtul Mal funds transparently.
Judge Gulzar has observed that the federal and provincial governments spend money on aid, but there is no transparency. He added that there was no transparency in every step taken by them.
Judge Umar Ata Bandial has observed that the center has given more than Rs 9 billion to the province, adding that they must monitor what the province is doing with the money. “Monitoring does not affect provincial autonomy. Monitoring is also a form of audit, “he said.
CJP has said that zakat and charity money given to the government by people “are not for TA & DA (travel allowances and dear benefits) or foreign tourism”. “Zakat money cannot be used for office expenses. How can charity money be used to pay officials salaries? “Judge Gulzar said. He also said that director general Baitul Mal also received his salary from the Zakat fund.
Bandial Judge said that according to the report submitted, the government had collected more than Rs9 billion in Zakat but “nothing was said about how the money was passed on to decent people.”
The court has expressed concern over the inhumane conditions of the quarantine center established in Hajj Camp and has questioned why no facilities are provided in the camp. The court stated that if the quarantine center was in such a condition, what would happen with the situation of the centers located in distant provincial areas. He has asked Tanveer Ahmed Qureshi, Secretary of the Ministry of National Health Services to visit the center and provide all facilities for people quarantined there.
Bench also questions the criteria for choosing hotels in Islamabad to turn them into centers of isolation and quarantine. The Secretary has informed that quarantine centers have been established in five hotels and in the Pak-China Center, OGDCL Building and Hajj Camp. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said that in each quarantine center there must be separate rooms, toilets, beds, tap water, medicines and cleaners for people affected by coronavirus.
General Islamabad advocates have told the court that another quarantine center is being built on 32 canals in Chak Shehzad. Judge Qazi Amin had suggested that when schools and colleges were available to the authorities then why had a quarantine center not been established there. The court said the facilities were already available and summer was near.
The Chief Justice also inquired about quarantine facilities provided by the government and said that people who were isolated in these centers were prosecuted. He said that those who cannot pay must be kept in a free quarantine center.
“The government is spending a lot of money but it is not clear what happened,” the high judge said, adding that living in the quarantine center in Taftan was a nightmare. Justice says, “[Who knows] how money given by the public and other countries is spent. Billions of rupees have been spent and there are only 5,000 patients. ”
Judge Gulzar said that no province or department submitted a report “based on transparency.”
The bench had told Sindh’s advocate general about the details of the money spent on ration bags distributed among low-income people.
Sindh AG Salman Talibuddin has informed the court that the provincial government has distributed Rs569 million of Zakat funds among more than 94,000 people. When asked who received the money, AG replied, “The same person who receives Zakat every year is given money.”
The court wondered how the Sindh government distributed Rs1 billion worth of ration bags without anyone knowing. “The Sindh government distributes photographs to the media for the smallest things,” said the justices.
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