Railways engines bought by India for Rs 250 million were bought by Saad Rafique for Rs 400 million

Railways engines bought by India for Rs 250 million were bought by Saad Rafique for Rs 400 million

LAHORE – Former Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique was grilled in the Supreme Court of Pakistan over the suomoto case of the losses of Pakistan Railways.

The lawyer of former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday submitted the reply in the case before the apex Court.

He told the Supreme Court that an audit report on Pakistan Railways’ finances during his client’s tenure confirmed that there had been no corruption or irregularities in it.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to monetary losses suffered by Pakistan Railways during Rafique’s tenure.

The former minister, who is in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) since November 11 in the Paragon Housing Society case, was also brought to the court to attend the hearing.

During the hearing, the chief justice remarked: “But were there losses”.

The counsel replied that these are not losses but a pending deficit being faced by the state-owned company for the past 65 years.

The apex court has ordered the auditor general and federal government to submit their replies to Rafique’s response and adjourned the hearing.

Addressing the court, the minister said that the federal government paid Rs58 million in the wake of pension before his term, adding that the department, during his tenure, itself paid Rs21m as pensions.

“At least appreciate this,” he asked the chief justice, to which the top judge remarked that he would be hailed when the matter is resolved.

The suo motu case was initiated in April this year over alleged Rs60 billion corruption in the Pakistan Railways.

A probe report submitted to the apex court on April 28 revealed that losses of the railways stand at Rs40 billion.

On Dec 17, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had started a new investigation against the former railway minister for purchasing engines of trains at the exorbitant price.

Sources said that the train engines which were bought by India at the cost of Rs250 million, Saad Rafique purchased the same at the price of Rs400 million.