High Court Admits Rasheed’s Plea On Audit Reports For Hearing
The Lahore High Court has admitted a petition by the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly for regular hearing about non-presentation of audit reports of district governments of the province before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Earlier, the court asked government’s counsel why the Governor and the Chief Minister were not complying with the directions of the court with respect to the submission of audit reports of district governments.
The law officer stated the petition was not maintainable as both the governor and the chief minister enjoyed immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution.
Citing a judgment of the Supreme Court, petitioner’s counsel Sheraz Zaka stated the writ petition was maintainable if a matter pertained to violation of constitutional obligations.
The court admitted the petition for regular hearing and issued notices to the government for next week.
On the last hearing, the court had directed the Punjab Governor and the Chief Minister to present audit reports on accounts of district governments before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the provincial assembly. The court had also sought a compliance report.
Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed 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 Section 108 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2013, says the audit reports of the auditor general shall be considered by the PAC.
He said the PAC was the main instrument of a 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 it is being republished here with permission.