SC annuls previous orders in PKLI case

The News

LAHORE: A Supreme Court three-judge bench Thursday annulled all previous orders issued by former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar in a suo motu case against alleged corruption in Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute (PKLI) and huge salaries of its president and other staff.

The former chief justice had ordered the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) to hold an inquiry into alleged misappropriation of funds at the PKLI after a court-appointed forensic audit expert doubted the financial affairs of the institute.

The former chief justice had also appointed an ad hoc committee headed by a retired judge to run the institute on behalf of the apex court and also ordered amendment to “Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute and Research Centre Act 2014”. The court had also barred its president Dr Saeed Akhtar from leaving the country.

The suo motu case was taken up by the three-judge bench headed by Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik at the Lahore registry. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi were other members of the bench. ACE acting director general, secretary health and other officials of the Punjab government were present in the court with the assistance of law officers.

Revoking previous orders, the bench directed the provincial government to run the PKLI under its Act and also allowed Dr Akhtar to visit abroad. The bench also discarded the ad hoc committee. Asked about the legitimacy of the inquiry by the ACE into the PKLI affairs, a law officer told the judges that a bench headed by former chief justice Nisar had ordered that inquiry.

Justice Malik observed that every institution was supposed to work within its limits. He told the law officer that the bench was withdrawing the order of the inquiry as being unnecessary and a judicial overreach. With these directions, the bench disposed of the suo motu. In its report filed on January 12 last before a bench of former chief justice, the ACE had recommended registration of an FIR against the management of the PKLI and others. The report stated that the PKLI project was supposed to be completed by December 2017; however, it was still under construction. It said the government officials were involved in misappropriation of funds and a detailed investigation could be held after registration of a case. The report pointed out that no action had been taken against the contractors for delaying the project.

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