COVID-19: SC says no one will be allowed to loot country, rejects NDMA report

COVID-19: SC says no one will be allowed to loot country, rejects NDMA report

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Supreme Court on Tuesday raised serious questions over the National Disaster Management Authority's (NDMA) failure to ensure transparency in expenditures pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic and locust control.

A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed heard the coronavirus suo motu notice case in which a representative of the NDMA appeared before the court.

At the beginning of the hearing, the CJP remarked that NDMA has yet to submit crucial documents. He inquired about the machinery that was imported from China in the name of Al-Hafeez. Who is he? Who is the owner? Nothing came up, why the documents were not given despite the orders from the court?" the CJ lashed out.

Meanwhile, Justice Ejazul Haq asked: " Who paid for the machinery imported from China. Where are the details of chartering the plane and its payments?”

On this, the Director Admin NDMA replied that the LC company had bought and paid the customs duty, the machinery of the company was not imported by the NDMA.

Responding to the representative of the NDMA, the Chief Justice remarked that the owner of the company has not come forward yet. "The real problem is non-compliance with customs and other laws. He did not take the court orders seriously."

Over Rs10.7 million was paid for the charter, observed the CJP. How were the payments made according to the charter agreement, he asked. How can someone give this much cash in Karachi, asked the CJP.

Perhaps a lot has gone wrong and attempts are being made to cover up, observed the CJP.

Justice Ijaz remarked that coronavirus, floods, locust attacks, and everything else has been handed over to NDMA and the authority was given free hand and huge funds to fight coronavirus. Therefore, NDMA is accountable to the court and the people.

Addressing the attorney general in this regard, the CJ asked: "What kind of spectacle is going on? It seems that the NDMA will have to be abolished.”

“Should we recommend the Prime Minister to abolish the NDMA and give contempt notice to its chairman as we have sent three notices to the authority but it has failed to explain?”