ISLAMABAD: According to a report from The News based on data submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), judges of the Supreme Court in Islamabad earn higher salaries than the president, prime minister, ministers, federal secretaries, and parliamentarians.
The chief justice of Pakistan receives the highest salary, followed by the Supreme Court judges, with the president ranking third. Surprisingly, the prime minister’s salary is even lower than that of ministers and federal secretaries. These salary figures were disclosed by Chairman Noor Alam Khan during a PAC meeting.
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The committee also discussed the issue of the SC registrar’s absence from the meeting and warned of potential arrest warrants if the registrar fails to appear again. There have been objections raised regarding the audit of the Supreme Court’s accounts, and the PAC has requested the registrar’s presence to address these concerns.
However, the registrar has argued that the audit falls outside the PAC’s jurisdiction and has refused to appear before the committee, claiming legal exemption. The PAC emphasized the need for accountability across all institutions, including the Supreme Court. The accountant general of Pakistan provided details of mandatory expenses of the apex court from 2010-11 to 2020-21.
While the PAC acknowledged the constitutional firewall between the judiciary and other state organs to ensure their independence, it maintained that financial matters of the Supreme Court should still be subject to scrutiny. The PAC also raised the issue of transparency in the dam funds allocated to the Supreme Court, calling for detailed information on the funds provided from 2010 to 2023.
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PAC’s Jurisdiction Excludes Supreme Court’s Finances
However, the PAC was informed that its jurisdiction does not extend to scrutinizing the financial affairs of the Supreme Court, as per the Constitution. The collection and utilization of funds for the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams were indicated to be under the purview of a constitutional petition pending with the Supreme Court.
It was clarified that the remuneration and administrative expenses of the Supreme Court, charged from the Federal Consolidated Fund, are separate from the demands for grants submitted to the National Assembly.
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