Individuals, cos asked to file concise statements


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered individuals and companies against whom the inquiry commission has recommended action for writing off loans to file concise statements before June 19.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu on Rs 54 billion waived off loans.

In view of the apex court’s notices, which were issued on May 18, the counsel for individuals and the companies appeared before the bench.

Farooq H Naek, representing five companies, requested the Chief Justice to adjourn the matter and take it up after Eid-ul-Fitr. He said many companies still have not received notices, adding that notices may be sent to them through Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The Chief Justice said the SC office had issued them notices and if someone would not appear then they will pass ex parte decision against them. He said many companies which got their loans written off are still operating.

The Chief Justice said this money belongs to people of Pakistan and therefore the loan defaulters would have to return money. He said if the individuals and the companies who got their loans written off do not return money then their cases will be sent to National Accountability Bureau. He said that they would hear this case on a daily basis.

The Supreme Court on 3rd June 2011 had constituted a three-member Commission, headed by Justice Syed Jamshed Ali (retd), a former judge of SC for recovery of written off loans from 1971 onward and to compile a report.

The Commission in February 2013 submitted its report and according to which Rs87 billion were written off in 38 years – between 1971 and 2009. The Commission’s report says that loans worth Rs2.38 billon were waived off between 1971 and 1991 whereas loans worth Rs84.62 billion were waived off between 1992 and 2009.

The report said the commission could probe only 740 different cases. It had recommended that the 222 cases should also be further probed as Rs54 billion had been waived off in these cases.

The report although found grave irregularities in loans given to politicians, civil and military bureaucracy, yet could not get proofs about waiver on political basis, as bank officials concealed the facts because they were afraid of influential persons. The bankers have given only business reasons for writing off loans.

The Commission has given four options. The tribunals comprising on-duty or retired judges of high courts should be set up for the recovery of amounts. The commission has also proposed for legislation for the recovery of written off loans. The commission also recommended that action should also been take against the provincial credit committee. However it has given the final authority to the Supreme Court for recovery of loans. The commission has given some options about the recovery of waived off loans but says the ultimate decision in this regard will be taken by the Supreme Court.