Senate briefed on ex-NAB chief’s perks, privileges

Mumtaz Alvi
Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Tuesday that Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had received Rs74.5 million in pay and benefits, including house rent, during his tenure as NAB chairman from October 11, 2017 to June 3, 2022.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar shared this information with the house during the Question-Hour in writing in response to a question from Senator Irfan Siddiqui.

The concerned senator had sought details of the salary and allowances paid to Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal in the capacity of NAB chairman, co-chairman of the commission of Inquiry on Forced Disappearances from the date of appointment in 2011 to June 30, 2022 and retired Supreme Court judge since his retirement on July 24, 2011, including pension, gratuity and other benefits.

The total house rent paid during his stint as NAB chairman was Rs3,858,598, with Rs3,404,65 as phone allowance. However, the ministry did not reply to the part of the question relating to his being head of the commission of inquiry as this did not relate to this ministry.

As regards the related information about Javed Iqbal as a retired judge of the apex court, the minister said the information is not available with this ministry. HUnder the Rules of Business 1973, the Ministry of Law and Justice performs federal government functions of the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Federal Shariat Court. The terms and conditions of service, including salary, allowances, pension and privileges of judges of the superior courts, are determined by the President of Pakistan under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution and have been determined under “The Supreme Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Order, 1997” (P.O 2 of 1997) and “The High Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Order, 1997” (P.O 3 of 1997).

The superior courts, he noted, are functioning independently as separate constitutional entities. The calculation and disbursement of the salary and pension of judges of superior courts is the subject of respective registrars of the courts, being Principal Accounting Officers (PAO) paid through respective accountant generals. The payable pension and facilities on retirement provided in the P.O 2 of 1997 are: Javed Iqbal’s salary in 2011 was Rs4,23,414 plus superior judiciary allowance of Rs196,219 per month, house rent if no official residence is available, Rs68,000, and medical allowance at 15% of salary.

In terms of privileges, a chauffeur-driven car with a 600 litre petrol tank, free medical treatment along with family, a rent-free residence maintained by the government with gas, electricity, and water. On retirement and on his death, his widow will receive service of a driver, 3,000 free local phone calls, 2,000 electricity units as well as 25 hm of gas per month, a free supply of water and 300 litres of petrol per month.

The question could not be taken up owing to an unpleasant situation that erupted when Senator Danesh Kumar and Minister for Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor exchanged hot words. But the chair expunged the remarks, and both sides “reconciled” later on.

Speaking on the motion of the PTI, its members called for evolving a mechanism for transparent use of aid received locally and from abroad for the flood victims. It was also proposed by JUIF Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri that, on the pattern of the West, flood victims from the scattered areas should be settled in highland areas.

PTI Senator Faisal Javed claimed that the quorum against the government had been pointed out. He added the government was about to be sent packing after PTI Chairman Imran Khan gave the call for the final march against the rulers.

Quorum was pointed out twice, once by a treasury member and then by the opposition. The chair allowed the state minister, Shahadat Hussain, to wind up the debate on the commenced motion, who insisted it was not the time for politics, as flood victims needed help. The house was later adjourned to meet again on Friday.