LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar said Sunday that in the Punjab government dereliction of duty and incompetency was at its peak. The CJP was hearing a suo moto case on Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute and expressed his ire towards provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid. In the hearing yesterday where the provincial health minister was also present, the CJP said that government had spent Rs22 billion so far and this hospital was still privatised, which shouldn’t have happened.

The CJP got irked when he inquired about the update on liver transplantation procedure and was told that the government was working on it. The CJP said that the date for the first operation was to be given but it was not. The top judge adjourned the hearing until the last week of February, saying that he was making a written order regarding the provincial government’s incompetency in the case.

The Supreme Court (SC) expressed its dissatisfaction over the performance of Punjab Health Department in connection with the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI). The two-member bench headed by chief justice of Pakistan was hearing the case at its Lahore Registry.

At the outset of proceedings, Punjab’s Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and Secretary Primary Health Shakil Ahmad appeared before the bench.

To a court query regarding PKLI legislation, Dr Yasmin Rashid submitted that the draft had been submitted to the Law Department for legislation purpose. At this, the chief justice observed that the same statement was given on the last hearing.

Dr Yasmin further submitted that steps were being taken to carry out the first liver transplant at the PKLI, in response to the court’s other query. However, the chief justice expressed annoyance over delay in this regard. Subsequently, the bench adjourned the case till the last week of February.

Separately, hearing a number of complaints against Member of the National Assembly Afzal Khokhar and his brother Memeber of Punjab Assembly Saiful Malook Khokhar for illegally occupying land of citizens, the Supreme Court Sunday ordered the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab to submit a report within 10 days after removing encroachments at Khokhar Palace in Lahore. The court also ordered the ACE to take action in the light of its report. The bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the orders.

As proceedings commenced, ACE Punjab Director General Hussain Asghar submitted a report regarding properties of Khokhar brothers and their palace.

The court was apprised through the report that the Khokhar Palace was built on the land forcibly taken from different persons and state land. They made payment to only one of 10 owners of the joint lands and encroached on 40 kanals of government land, it added. The DG ACE told the court that Khokhar brothers had got bails till the CJP’s retirement thinking nobody would question them after his retirement.

“We are breaking the illegal land consolidation of the Khokhar Palace,” the chief justice remarked. “Vacate the Khokhar Palace and take away all articles from there,” he added. The CJP chief justice suggested that an educational institute could be established at the Khokhar Palace like the one announced for the Prime Minister’s House.

He observed that Khokhar brothers had extraordinary influence in their area and such people had destroyed Pakistan. He ordered the ACE for registration of cases and taking action as per law in the matter.

However, Khokhar Brother’s counsel argued that his clients were innocent and all allegations were levelled against them due to a land-grabbing culture in the city.

“The land-grabbing culture was introduced by the Khokhar brothers,” the top judge remarked. In is pertinent to mention here that the Supreme Court had ordered ACE DG Hussain Asghar on Dec 20, 2018 to investigate the Khokhar brothers properties and submit a report in the court.