CJP questions Zakat department spending amid coronavirus crisis
Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed asked about the specifics of the Zakat department’s expenditure during a suo motu case hearing about the coronavirus crisis.
A five-member apex court bigger bench — led by Pakistan’s chief justice (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed — is hearing the suo motu case. The bench also includes Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed.
At the hearing held today, Pakistan’s Attorney-General, Khalid Javed, told court that the National Disaster Management Authority and the Department of Health had submitted different responses to the court regarding the steps put in place to control the virus spread.
“The Zakat department has not submitted a response,” CJP Ahmed observed. “The queries of the court with regards to the matters of the Zakat department replied to only with references to certain laws,” he added.
“The federal government gives the Zakat fund to the provinces. The provincial authorities are responsible for distributing the funds. A big chunk of the fund spent on administrative matters,” he added.
“Five hotels in Islamabad turned into quarantine centres. Free virus services are being provided at Haji Camp and Pak-China Centre,” Secretary Health Tanweer Qureshi told the court during the hearing.
“Ensure the availability of food and other essential services at the quarantine centres around the country,” CJP Ahmed told the government officials present in the courtroom.
“The Taftan quarantine centre was a big nightmare. The government seems to spending money, but it is not immediately clear where the money is being spent,” CJP Gulzar Ahmed noted.