Saad Rafique on fire after court appearance

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday resumed hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to monetary losses racked up by the Pakistan Railways during former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique’s incumbency.

The minister, who is currently in the custody of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was presented before the court.

Reportedly, the top judge stated “We have not called him, why he has been presented here?”, adding that the court has sought response from the auditor general. His lawyer told the court that the court-ordered audit report on Railways losses was already submitted in Lahore. “We will resume the hearing after the response is produced before the court,” the top judge said.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till next week. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader was arrested by NAB on November 11 over alleged corruption in the Paragon Housing Society.

The former minister spoke to the media after his appearance in the SC, and strongly criticised the PTI-led federal government. “Evidence against us is not being found but manufactured, and is being produced after their arrests,” he said, adding that it was disappointing that founders of the country were being put in jails.

“If you honour democracy or fight for it, you have to face the same fate,”he said, adding that the government instead of improving state affairs, has been victimising opposition leaders.

On April 7, 2018, the top judge had taken a suo motu notice of an 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.

Later, the apex court had ordered the complete audit of the Pakistan Railways. On April 28, 2018, the SC had sought a report on the losses incurred by the Pakistan Railways. The report determined that the losses were Rs40 billion.

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