Railways audit report doesn't reveal any irregularities or corruption, Rafique's lawyer tells SC

Published December 26, 2018
Saad Rafique's lawyer says Pakistan Railways is plagued by a 65-year-old deficit, not losses. ─  DawnNewsTV
Saad Rafique's lawyer says Pakistan Railways is plagued by a 65-year-old deficit, not losses. ─ DawnNewsTV

The Supreme Court on Wednesday was told that an audit report on Pakistan Railways' finances during former minister Saad Rafique's tenure showed that there had been no corruption or irregularities in the state-owned company.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to losses racked up by Pakistan Railways allegedly during Rafique's incumbency.

A member of the company's finance department had earlier informed the court that it had faced losses to the tune of Rs163 billion during the PML-N government's tenure, and generated a total revenue of Rs180bn.

In April this year, the apex court had asked chartered accountancy firm AF Ferguson to carry out a forensic audit of Pakistan Railways to find out the reasons behind the colossal losses the department had faced over the last five years.

The former minister, who is currently in National Accountability Bureau custody, was presented in court today. His lawyer submitted the court-ordered audit report on Railways losses and told the bench that it didn't turn up any corruption or irregularities.

"But were there losses?" Justice Nisar inquired.

"These are not losses but a deficit that has carried on for the past 65 years," the lawyer responded.

The court ordered the auditor general and federal government to furnish their replies to Rafique's response.

Rafique also addressed the court, saying that before his term, Rs58m in pensions was paid to railways employees by the federal government, but during his tenure, the department itself had paid Rs21m.

"At least applaud this," he asked the chief justice, to which Justice Nisar responded that the PML-N stalwart would be praised when the matter is resolved.

Opinion

Editorial

No pardon for rape
Updated 07 Feb, 2023

No pardon for rape

Cultural filters and biases can often lead to faulty applications of the law.
Health insurance
07 Feb, 2023

Health insurance

THE planning ministry is reported to have raised objections to Punjab’s flagship universal health coverage...
The people’s demands
07 Feb, 2023

The people’s demands

AS the people of KP are literally on the frontline of the battle against terrorism and violent extremism, they are...
The Musharraf enigma
Updated 06 Feb, 2023

The Musharraf enigma

The Musharraf era holds numerous lessons for Pakistan’s ruling elite, civilian and military.
Staying neutral
06 Feb, 2023

Staying neutral

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has what is perhaps one of the most thankless jobs in the country. The countless...
Wikipedia ban
06 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ban

THE country was back in a familiar, dark place last week when the PTA blocked Wikipedia over the charge that it...