Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has remarked tax recovery is not being made despite court’s orders and the accused are being given clean chit, therefore, court can not shut its eyes.
Additional Prosecutor General National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rana Zahid appeared on behalf of NAB while Rana Shamim advocated represented FBR in the court.
The court sought details of correspondence made between the government and FBR with reference to constitution of tribunals under custom act.
Additional Prosecutor General NAB Rana Zahid presented ISAF containers report in the court while SC rejected this report.
As per NAB report total number of ISAF containers runs into 34078 while FBR report reflects the number of containers as 31463.
CJ remarked “tax recovery is not being made nor has any action been taken against the culprits so far despite court’s orders. This is matter of billion of rupees of national wealth. We can not shut our eyes. NAB has given clean chit to several people and tremendous loss is being caused to national exchequer. We will not allow national wealth to be plundered and will bring back the looted money to national kitty. No progress has been made in the case despite lapse of two years. The court be informed after interval how much recoveries have been made under tax head. What happened about the joint meeting between chairman FBR and others”.
FBR told meeting was held as per court’s orders and matter of missing containers was discussed at length. It was decided to file references against 7 clearing agents. Loss to the tune of Rs 9.98 billion was caused.
Rana Zahid told the court that Director General Durrani, Ghulam Rasool, Tariq, Joint prosecutor general and other senior officials were present in the meeting.
FBR further told the court that efforts were made to decide the cases within the period of two months. Meeting was held on September, 25, 2012 and it was decided to file the references against the accused persons within 10 days.
CJ inquired how much amount was recovered. Rana Shamim told that a sum of Rs 5.6 million was recovered.
CJ inquired the recovery made so far constitutes what percentage of real amount. Rana Shamim said over 11000 show cause notices have been issued.
CJ observed it looks apparently no progress has been made. This is a clear case wherein evasion of billion of rupees has been made under tax head.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked “ you should say you have not to catch the thieves.
CJ remarked it was known to FBR that no stay order could be issued in their matter and even then case is being lingered on by them. If in your view tribunals are not working then we be informed. SC has not to appoint judge.
Rana Shamim said this was not matter of one judge while 500 cases were lying pending. Earlier government appointed judges in tribunals but now this responsibility rested with chief justice of high court following the introduction of amendment in the respective law”.
Justice Khilji observed Chief Justice Sindh High court has sent one name. Why are you seeking four names now. CJ inquired what you have to do now.
Rana Zahid said please adjourn the hearing of the case. Some responsible officer will be sent to the court who will give replies to the answers. “ I was given directives a night before , therefore, I could not make proper preparations”.
CJ remarked “it seems as if you have not to implement court’s orders and the court will have to issue any order in this respect. Clean chit is being given to all which is not a good thing”.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till Friday.