CJP summons NAB chief over inquiry into allotment of land for Islamabad hospital

DAWN

Updated Jan 04, 2019 01:57pm

CJP summons NAB chief over inquiry into allotment of land for Islamabad hospital

The Supreme Court on Friday took exception to the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) hand in a delay in the construction of a hospital in Islamabad, and summoned the NAB chairman and prosecutor to the chief justice’s chambers.

The court was hearing a suo motu case on the condition of hospitals in Islamabad. In an earlier hearing of the case, the SC had asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to allot land for the construction of a hospital within 15 days.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan in today’s hearing enquired about the progress on the allotment of land to the hospital.

The judges noted that the government of Bahrain had wanted to give Rs10 billion for the construction of the hospital, and that the CDA had been given 15 days to make a decision regarding the allotment of land for the hospital.

“What has happened with regards to its construction?” the chief justice asked, to which Ministry of National Health Services Secretary Zahid Saeed said that no progress had been made.

The CDA lawyer informed the court that NAB had launched an inquiry into the allotment of the land after an application regarding the matter had been filed.

Justice Nisar expressed his displeasure that the accountability watchdog “begins disrespecting people after it receives a single application”.

“Is everyone except NAB a thief?” the top judge demanded. “They launch inquiries into whoever surfaces and destroy their reputations.”

He added that a NAB official in Lahore is known for “blackmailing people” for personal gain.

Justice Nisar summoned the NAB chairman and prosecutor to his chambers.

“Tell [the] NAB chairman that it is possible that his exemption from appearing before the court could be revoked,” the chief justice warned, adding that the apex court had in the past given former SC judges exemptions from court apperances.

“Are the court’s orders or NAB’s orders more important for CDA?” the top judge asked, while enquiring if the bureau had any standards for conducting its investigations.

He said that Bahrain’s government was enthusiastic about giving Rs10bn for the hospital’s construction.

The federal health secretary informed the court that a 200-bed hospital was being built in Tarlai.

The top judge said the issue was of CDA’s allotment of the land for the hospital, to which Justice Ahsan added that the development authority to was to allot 237 kanals for the purpose.

Saeed said that the Bahraini government was going to build a nursing university on the land but because of the NAB inquiry, the land could not be allotted.

The CDA chairman was also summoned by the court.

Author: HYMS GROUP INTERNATIONAL

ex Chairman Edu Board, Reg Dir Sindh Ombudsman, Bank Exec; B.A(Hons) M.A English, M.A Int Rel, LL.B, 3 acreds from Canada

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