ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered the Auditor General of Pakistan to conduct an audit of the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, owned by the Pakistan Railways.
A three-member judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, on Friday, heard the Railway Golf Club implementation case.
The Court ordered the private audit company to soon complete the audit.
In October 2020, the apex court had asked AF Ferguson & Co to conduct Royal Palm Golf and Country Club’s audit within six months.
The bench expressed concern over not leasing out the Club, despite its direction.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan said two and a half years had passed and still the club had not been leased out.
He inquired from the Railways official how much time was required to issue a tender for the Club lease.
The judge said the minister bypassed the secretary in the appointment of his advisor.
He noted that Advisor Shah Rukh, after assuming office, started corruption as the old employees were fired and new people were inducted in the Railways. The advisor was also giving Club’s honorary memberships.
He also inquired from the Railways officials where the international investors were with briefcases who were showing interest in the Club.
Justice Bandial said that political intervention had destroyed the Railways’ old management.
He said the government should ensure transparency not only in Railways but in all the departments.
The bench in the last hearing (August 12) had directed for the removal of Shah Rukh Khan, advisor to Railways Minister.
Justice Ijaz questioned under what law the Railway Minister had appointed Shah Rukh Khan as his advisor to oversee the Club affairs?
He said the Golf club was not privately owned and favoured persons could not be appointed to run the affairs of the club.
Such appointments could not be made in a public office, he added.
Justice Bandial said the court would not tolerate any recruitment or reshuffle in the Railway Golf Club.
The bench directed the private firm to complete the audit of Golf Club and submit its report.
He said there were appointment rules and a complete procedure for hiring people and asked how could people be appointed like this?
He asked the Secretary Railways whether he did not advise his minister that he could not recruit people in the golf club.
Appointment of Railway Minister’s advisor was a violation of court order, he added.
The Secretary Railways informed that the Railway Minister had appointed Shah Rukh Khan as an advisor in the interest of the club.
The case was adjourned for an indefinite period.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021