To Restore Confidence: SC Asked To Share Details Of Where Funds It Received, Raised Go

To Restore Confidence: SC Asked To Share Details Of Where Funds It Received, Raised Go
As the issue of the £190 million pounds (Rs50 billion) seized in the UK and repatriated to Pakistan gets greater attention as part of the Al-Qadir Trust Case, the Supreme Court has been requested to share details of these funds and their utilization, apart from details about the assets acquired by judges abroad.

This information has been requested by journalist and television news anchor Mubasher Lucman.

In a letter to the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Lucman invoked his rights to seek such information under Article 19-A (Freedom of Speech) of the Constitution and the Right to Information Act 2017.

Lucman clarified that the purpose of his request was to "address certain issues of the greater public importance, which will eventually restore the confidence of the people of Pakistan in its judiciary while also ensuring the independence thereof."

He asked the court to provide detailed information about the specific accounts that received funds amounting to £190 million Great British Pounds (GBP), confiscated by England's National Crime Agency (NCA) from property tycoon Malik Riaz.

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Lucman said that it is widely accepted that the money was deposited in an account maintained by the top court.

"Any other relatable information in identifying the financial institutions and relevant identification codes associated with these accounts would be sincerely appreciated," he wrote.

Moreover, he urged the court to share a "comprehensive breakdown of the distribution of these funds, specifically the projects, institutions or purposes for which the funds are to be utilized, inclusive of the information on the amounts disbursed to each recipient, accompanied by any conditions or stipulations attached to the funding."

Lucman also sought details of the funds raised under former chief justice Saqib Nisar's project Dam Fund.

"This is another widely known fact when in 2018, there was a nationwide movement initiated for the collection of funds for the purpose of constructing a water-dam, and the Supreme Court of Pakistan was at the forefront of this initiative," he said as he sought information on how the funds have been utilized while also requesting an update on the progress made in the construction of the dam.

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"The names of beneficiaries of accrued interest (if any) on these funds during their tenure in the bank may also kindly be provided."

The television host, however, did not stop there. He went on to request the top court to provide details of pensions and benefits for retired judges.

"Comprehensive details regarding the pension and benefits granted to retired justices of the Supreme Court with particular reference to the information regarding the specific benefits, allowances and privileges accorded to retired justices, including any financial or non-financial entitlements that they may receive," he wrote.

To ensure transparency and accurate reporting, Lucman sought a comprehensive list of names of all retired and serving judges of the Supreme Court who may have made investments or acquired assets abroad.

Earlier, he had argued that under the law, all citizens had the right to information held by public bodies, including information held by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, subject only to reasonable restrictions imposed by law.

According to the law, public bodies must provide the requested information within 10-15 working days.