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Railways corruption case: SC grants one month’s time for Saad Rafique to submit response

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday granted one month’s time to former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique to submit his response in a case a case pertaining to monetary losses suffered by Pakistan Railways.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was heading the hearing at the SC’s Lahore registry where Saad Rafique was present and questioned whether he had read the audit report or not.

To this, the former railway’s minister responded that he was among those “who had helped the department become stable,” adding that “I am not here to be insulted,” reminding the court that the code of conduct for judges does not allow them to insult anyone.

Following this Justice Nisar assured that he was not being insulted and asked Rafique to submit his response. Rafique said that he had come to the court to be appreciated but all he had received was an admonishment.

“Submit your response and we will see if you deserve to be praised,” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said.

Rafique then apprised the court that he could not respond to the court on a 1000-page report.

“I cannot respond to the report as I am not an account,” he said, asking the court to point out his name mentioned in the corruption case.   He also stated that he had made his “best efforts to improve the railway department”.

Following this, the court advised Rafique to hire a lawyer and a consultant and accepted his request to be granted one month’s time in order to submit his response.

The court then adjourned the hearing.

On April 7, the top judge had taken a suo motu notice of alleged Rs60 billion corruption in the Pakistan Railways. The top judge had also summoned railways minister, secretary and board members along with the audit report.

A week later, the apex court had ordered the complete audit of Pakistan Railways during the case hearing.

During the case’s hearing on April 28, the Supreme Court sought a report on the losses incurred by Pakistan Railways. The report found that losses of Pakistan Railways stand at Rs40 billion.

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