Advocate General Faces Tough Time In Audit Reports Case
The Lahore High Court has given one last opportunity to the Punjab Advocate General (AG) to resolve the issue of presentation of district government’s audit reports before the Public Accounts Committee as well as the Provincial Assembly.
The court was hearing a petition filed by opposition leader Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed questioning non-presentation of audit reports of district governments of the province before Public Accounts Committee.
Advocate Sheraz Zaka argued on behalf of the petitioner and read comments of the Auditor General of Pakistan as well the Punjab Governor, that for better accountability and transparency the audit reports of district governments’ accounts should be presented before the house keeping in view Article 171 of the Constitution.
AGP Shakilur Rehman Khan requested the court for more time to conclude his arguments in the case. Justice Shahid Waheed reprimanded the AGP and regretted that the government was unable to argue in even simple cases.
The judge adjourned the hearing till May 9 and gave one last opportunity to the Advocate General to resolve the matter otherwise argue the case so it could be decided on merit.
Mr Rasheed, the Opposition Leader, said in his petition that the audit reports of district governments had never been presented to the PAC nor laid before the House.
He said that section 108 of Punjab Local Government Act, 2013 requires the audit reports of the Auditor General to be considered by the PAC.
He said that PAC was the main instrument of parliamentary system and its strengthening was essential to ensure accountability of public funds and good governance, which would eventually eliminate corruption from the public sector.
This news was previously published in DAWN and is being republished here with permission.