The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered confiscation of all government automobiles that federal and Punjab ministers and departments are using beyond their official entitlement, DawnNewsTV reported.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, on his first day back following an official visit to China, issued the order while presiding over a three-member bench at the Lahore registry of the apex court.
On April 14, Justice Nisar had directed federal and provincial cabinet secretaries to submit a record of all ministers and officers using sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and luxury vehicles beyond their official entitlement.
Additional Attorney General Syed Nayyar Abbas Rizvi today presented in court the requested report, which stated that 105 government-owned automobiles are presently in use by the members of federal cabinet and departments, whereas 191 are being used by Punjab's cabinet and departments.
The additional attorney general told the court that Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has a Land Cruiser and three double cabin automobiles, whereas federal ministers Abid Sher Ali and Kamran Michael have been given a Mercedes Benz.
Meanwhile, Khursheed Shah, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, and Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali both have a bulletproof car each, the report said.
Rizvi further informed the court that no government officer or minister has the right to have a government vehicle in excess of 1800cc.
At this, Chief Justice Nisar directed the chief secretary to impound by midnight tonight all the government vehicles that are being used beyond their official entitlement.
Upon finding out that former federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid was also in possession of a luxury vehicle, Justice Nisar summoned him to appear in the case's next hearing, adding that others who have indulged in the same practice will also be called for explanation.
The chief justice told advocate general Punjab to present correct details regarding the vehicles, warning him that the court will not tolerate any sort of falsification on the issue.
He further said that the two extra vehicles given to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the bulletproof cars given to Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah should be taken back as soon as the cabinet is dissolved.
"We will not allow bulletproof cars to be used during elections," Justice Nisar said. "If anyone needs a bulletproof car, they should buy one out of their own pocket."
Meanwhile, the court directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general to submit a detailed report in the next hearing on Saturday.