ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Friday ordered the return and auction of two luxury vehicles, a Mercedes Benz and a bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser, earlier allocated for the use of CJPs.

In a one-page letter to the cabinet secretary, Islamabad and Punjab chief secretaries, the Supreme Court registrar directed that the proceeds from the sale of these vehicles should be utilised for much-needed public transport.

The letter stated the CJP had learnt that in Sept 2020, the Supreme Court had purchased a new Mercedes Benz, a 2996 CC Sedan with registration No SC 001, for CJP, and a brand-new bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser with registration No LEG-500 by the Punjab government. The Land Cruiser is currently parked at the Supreme Court Rest House in GOR (Government Officers Residence), Lahore.

It said the CJP and every judge, as per rules, have been provided with two vehicles, but CJP Isa has not used either the Mercedes sedan or the Toyota Land Cruiser.

“It is an inappropriate splurge of scarce public resources to buy imported luxury vehicles for the use of constitutional and public office holders,” the letter said.

The Mercedes Benz was acquired during the tenure of Justice Gulzar Ahmed as the top adjudicator. Justice Umar Ata Bandial, upon becoming CJP, opted not to use the Mercedes Benz, instead choosing the Honda Civic provided to all top court judges.

Due to security concerns, the Cabinet Division then provided a bulletproof BMW X-5 to former CJP Umar Ata Bandial, which was later returned to the government after his retirement. Currently, CJP Isa is using a Toyota Corolla for his official duties. Previous CJPs have typically used similar Mercedes Benz vehicles for official use.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2023

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