The Supreme Court of Pakistan.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD:  Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday observed that the Supreme Court would finally dispose of a suo motu case related to disbursement of amount among the Iraq-Kuwait war affected persons on July 7.

He was heading a three-judge bench comprising of Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain as its other members, on a suo motu case of 2009 taken on plight of Iraq-Kuwait war affectees.

The bench in its order directed the counsel for ministry of Overseas Pakistanis to submit a concise statement regarding the profit it earned on compensation money which was retained under the head of expenditures during last 16 years.

The bench also directed National Accountability Bureau official to submit a statement about pending investigation over the alleged misappropriation of the compensation amount sent by United Nations.

The bench observed that so far the exercise had benefited about 27,000 affected expatriates.

During course of proceedings, Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for Habib Bank Limited, apprised the bench that the bank had retained about 27 per cent of the total amount and was ready to pay 50 per cent more to Overseas Pakistanis Fund (OPF).

NAB official Colonel (Retd) Niaz Ahmed however expressed his reservations by saying that he would take a stance after going through the documents.

He said that profit retained by OPF under head of expenditures should also be disbursed among the affected.

The OPF counsel requested the bench for grant of time to comply with the court’s earlier directive of March 21 regarding provision of all relevant record.

He said that the OPF had dispatched cheques containing an amount of more than Rs 20,000 each to all the regional offices where a total of six thousand affected persons would collect them.

The Chief Justice observed that billions of rupees were misappropriated and asked NAB officials who they had taken legal action against.

Niaz Ahmed replied that so far two references had been moved including one against an accused Irshad.

To the bench’s query, he replied that most of the agents who duped the affectees belonged to the area of Swat and expressed the hope that now, with the improvement in the situation, they would be able to arrest them.

He also objected that HBL should not have reflected the amount in Pakistani books under instruction from the State Bank of Pakistan.

He contended that OPF had charged Rs 26 crores amount under head of expenditure till the year 2009.

Further hearing was adjourned till July 7.

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