Thursday, December 8

Supreme Court Order regarding Construction of Dams

Islamabad, July 04, 2018 (PPI-OT): Mian Saqib Nisar, CJ.- For the reasons to be recorded later in elaboration of this short order, we dispose of these matters in the following terms:

1. That the need for water reservoirs is not only expedient but also sine qua non for the survival of the people and economy of Pakistan. All those present in the Court including officials of the various departments and experts on the subject are unanimous in this regard. They are also unanimous on the point that according to the decision of the Council of Common Interest the Diamer Bhasha Dam and pursuant to the approval of the ECNEC both the said and Mohmand Dam must be built on urgent basis by the Federal Government and in this regard there is no dispute or discord of any nature amongst the Provinces;

2. That right to life is a fundamental right and without water there can be no existence of life. The establishment of water reservoirs is therefore not a question of just quality of life rather the very existence thereof. Therefore, in terms of the provisions of Article 184(3) of the Constitution read with Article 9 and as guardians of the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan, this Court has the jurisdiction to issue necessary directions to the Government for the practical enforcement of the primordial right to life. Accordingly, we direct the Federal and Provincial Governments, WAPDA and all the Executive Authorities in Pakistan who are responsible or have nexus/connection with the building of the afore-said dams and all matters connected thereto, to take all necessary steps for the commencement of construction and early completion of these dams. A comprehensive report in this regard with detailed timelines and milestones shall be submitted to this Court within a period of three weeks by the Committee formed herein below;

3. For the construction of these dams and also for oversight of execution of their works, we hereby constitute an Implementation Committee headed by the Chairman WAPDA and for the time being comprising experts and officials of the Federal and KPK Governments including the following persons:

(i) Additional Secretary (Budget), Finance Division, Federal Government;

(ii) Joint Secretary, Water Resources Division, Federal Government;

(iii) Joint Secretary, PM Office (to be nominated by Secretary to PM);

(iv) Senior Chief (Water), Planning Division, Federal Government;

(v) Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan;

(vi) Senior Member Board of Revenue, KPK

(vii) Additional Chief Secretary (Development), KPK;

(viii) The Committee can co-opt any members/ experts.

4. Under the provisions of Article 78 of the Constitution, any funds deposited in the Public Account of the Federation can be dedicated for a specified project or purpose. We therefore direct the establishment of an account, for the time being in the name of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, for collecting funds donated by the people of Pakistan for the construction and establishment of the aforementioned dams;

5. In the foregoing behalf we accordingly appeal to the Nation for making its contributions, whether in the shape of foreign currency or in Pakistani rupees, directly to the said account. The funds in the said account shall be utilized solely for the construction and establishment of the aforementioned dams and shall for the time being be operated under the orders of this Court on the recommendations of the Implementation Committee. It is made clear that the funds in this account shall not under any circumstance or for any reason be diverted or utilized for any purpose other than the construction of the afore-noted dams. For avoidance of doubt it is directed that no questions shall be asked by any authority or department including, but not limited to the tax authorities, relating to the source of funds contributed to the afore-noted account. The utilization of the said funds shall be subject to audit as per directions of this Court.

For more information, contact:
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
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