ISLAMABAD, May 18: The salaries of supreme court judges are more than those of the president, the prime minister, ministers, federal secretaries and parliamentarians, The News International reported citing the data submitted to the Public Accounts Committee.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan ranks first in receiving the salary, supreme court judges are second, the president comes third, and the prime minister gets a salary less than ministers and federal secretaries. At the Public Accounts Committee, Chairman Noor Khan informed the members that the salary of the Pakistan President is Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 896,550, and the prime minister gets PKR 201,574 salary. At the same time, the Chief Justice of Pakistan receives PKR 1,527,399. The salary of supreme court judges is PKR 1,470,711 and federal ministers get PKR 338,125.
A parliamentarian gets a PKR 188,000 salary while a grade-22 officer receives PKR 591,475. The PAC sought details regarding perks and privileges received by the Pakistan President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and other Supreme Court judges, The News International reported.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan registrar did not appear before the PAC for the audit of more than 10 year-expenditures of the apex court on Tuesday. The committee has re-summoned him for a meeting scheduled to be held on next Tuesday and warned of issuing his warrants if he did not appear. The committee members expressed anger over the absence of a registrar, as per the news report.
Noor Khan said, "If the principal accounting officer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan does not appear before the PAC, why will the rest of institutions be accountable," as per The News International report. He said that the registrar had written a letter that the matter of the audit of SC accounts was under hearing and did not come under the purview of the PAC and that has was not legally bound to appear before the committee.
Audit officials said there had been audit objects to the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund, for which the State Bank of Pakistan sought an answer as a private account was opened along with the government account in which the money was kept, The News International reported. The PAC chairman stressed that the National Assembly and the Election Commission of Pakistan and other institutions were accountable to this committee for all their accounts and raised questions over why the Supreme Court of Pakistan should not be held accountable.
The accountant general of Pakistan has brought information regarding the mandatory expenses of the supreme court from 2010-11 to 2020-21 to the agenda of the PAC. Noor noted that the committee would not do anything against the Constitution. The principal accounting officer of the SC was summoned because there were 83 audit objections raised. Out of the 83 audit objections, only 12 were settled.
According to Noor Khan, Auditor General Office audited SC expenditures from 2015 to 2021. PAC chairman said they had also written to the National Assembly speaker asking them to consult senior lawyers including Irfan Qadir and Yasin Azad, The News International reported. The committee said details of dam funds given to the apex court from 2010 to 2023 should be provided.