Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took suo motu notice of losses amounting to Rs60 billion that have been incurred by Pakistan Railways.
The CJP ordered the secretary and members of the Railways Board to appear before the court for the next hearing with audit reports that can explain the causes that resulted in the massive losses.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique was also ordered to appear at the hearing, scheduled for April 12, with relevant records.
During the hearing, Justice Nisar cited the example of Indian politician Lalu Prasad Yadav, saying that though Yadav had been deprived of formal education, he had turned Indian Railways into a profitable institution while he was minister.
“Lalu Prasad’s work is taught at Harvard University today,” the CJP remarked.
He complained that Pakistan Railways was portrayed as a profitable organisation at political rallies, but “the reality of the railways is different”.
“This is not a kingdom where anyone can go around doing whatever they feel like,” he added.
Pakistan Railways had told the National Assembly last month that it had suffered a loss of Rs20.6bn between July 2017 and January 2018.
In a written reply to a question from MNA Shaikh Rohale Asghar about the daily losses being suffered by PR, Railways had responded saying that losses multiplied after July 2017 from Rs403.4 million (total daily losses per month) to nearly Rs3bn in August 2017.
They rose to Rs3.41bn two months later in October 2017 and then to Rs4.3bn in December 2017, PR said in response to the question.
“In January 2018, the losses were as high as Rs3.2bn,” PR said.