LAHORE: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday (today) directed chief secretary Punjab to submit a comprehensive report on affixing Shehbaz Sharif’s pictures to laptops and health cards issued by the Punjab government.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar passed these directions, while hearing the suo motu case of misuse of the public money to advertise the government development projects at Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.
At the outset of court proceedings, the CJP inquired as why the provincial government has been spending enormous funds for promoting Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The chief secretary Punjab responded that it was solely the efforts of Punjab chief minister to facilitate the students and public after launching the laptop and health card schemes.
The chief justice then remarked the government must inform the court about total amount the schemes had cost to the government.
Justice Nisar emphasized that the political parties must not use the funds allocated for public for their promotion campaign.
This must be done on their own resources, the CJP underlined.
He noted that the virtuous people serve people in secret.
He then asked the provincial chief secretary to submit an explanatory report on the matter.
Shehbaz asked to deposit Rs5.5 mln to exchequer
On Thursday, Justice Nisar directed Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif to deposit Rs 5.5 million to the national exchequer over the misuse of public money in the campaign to advertise the government development projects.
The chief justice heard the suo motu case of the use of public money for advertisement of uplift schemes by the provincial governments at Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry when he gave these injunctions against Shehbaz.
During the court proceedings, the secretary information informed the court that Rs 10.2 million had been spent for the commercials sponsored by the government.
At which, Justice Nisar observed the hefty amount could have been spent to resolve the lingering civic-issues.
The monthly spending on advertisements makes Rs 1.5 billion annually, the CJP then remarked.
He then inquired about any methodology of spending the staggering amount on the government commercials.
The CJP was also shown the posters depicting the PML-N leaders including Shehbaz Sharif.
Justice Nisar noted that the general elections were drawing near and the government would spend more public money on it’s campaign.
The chief justice then issued notices to ruling PML-N, Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab government and All Pakistan Newspapers’ Society (APNS).
Earlier on Feb 28, the CJP took suo motu notice of the use of public money for advertisement of uplift schemes by the provincial governments.
The chief justice observed that the advertisement of development projects and the governments’ achievements was tantamount to pre-poll rigging.
He questioned why the provincial governments were using the money from national kitty for such purpose.
Advertisements, which portrayed political leaders and are aimed at self-promotion, were being given at the expense of public money, he noted.