LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the slow pace of inquiry being conducted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) into the assets of heads of public companies in Punjab.

“Convey the court’s concern to chairman of the NAB,” the chief justice told a counsel for the bureau during hearing of a suo motu case regarding salary structure of the chief executive officers (CEOs) and officers of the public companies.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan are members of the three-judge bench headed by the chief justice hearing the case at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry.

At the outset of the hearing, Advocate Ahsan Bhoon appeared on behalf of several heads of the companies and objected to ‘humiliating’ language used by the NAB in its notices sent to his clients.

However, the chief justice did not buy the argument and observed that the notices would have been drafted in cyclostyle.

The chief justice asked the counsel whether the companies’ heads returned their received salaries to the national exchequer. He asked the same question from Punjab Saaf Pani Company CEO retired Capt Muhammad Usman, inviting him to the rostrum. The CJP also warned Mr Usman against using his connections to influence the court, reminding him that nobody could approach the court.

Defending Mr Usman, Advocate Bhoon said his client had an unblemished record of service and there was no allegation of corruption against him.

However, the chief justice observed that all the heads and officers of the companies drawing huge salaries would be made to pay back the received amounts which were disproportionate to the basic salaries they were entitled to in their parent departments.

When asked about an inquiry into the assets of the companies’ heads, the NAB counsel said the probe was in progress and would soon be completed. He said the bureau had received complete record of the companies working in Punjab, while the record of those operating under the control of federal government was awaited.

The chief justice expressed disappointment over the slow pace of the inquiry by the bureau, directing the counsel to convey the court’s concern to the NAB chairman.

The chief justice directed the cabinet division secretary to submit details of the officials transferred to centre from Punjab and sought salary structure of the companies’ heads from the chief secretary. Hearing was adjourned till July 26.

VICE CHANCELLORS: The Punjab government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that vacancies of the vice chancellors had been filled at four out of six public sector medical universities in the province.

Additional Advocate General Anwaar Hussain told a three-judge bench that appointment of the VCs had been made at the King Edward Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Rawalpindi Medical University and Faisalabad Medical University.

He said summary for the appointment of VC at the Nishtar Medical University was lying pending before the chancellor/governor while a similar summary with regard to the University of Health Sciences (UHS) had been returned by the chancellor with some reservations regarding the nominees of the search committee. He said a revised summary would be forwarded to the chancellor within a day. However, Prof Dr Mustafa Pasha Kamal was appointed as vice chancellor of the Nishtar Medical University, Multan, later in the day.

Meanwhile, a sealed report of an inquiry into the appointment of now suspended vice chancellor of the Lahore College for Women University, Prof Uzma Qureshi, was also submitted in the court.

The bench adjourned the matter till July 28.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2018