SC seeks shariah’s opinion from CII, Mufti Taqi over Zakat funds

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ISLAMABAD: Hearing of the coronavirus suo motu case, a larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJP Justice Gulzar Ahmed sought a Shariah’s opinion from Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and Mufti Taqi Usmani for using Zakat funds on the administrative matters.
During the hearing, CJP Gulzar inquired about the mechanism of Zakat funds provided to provinces by the Centre as no report had been submitted in court by the Baitul Maal department.
“The federal government gives the Zakat fund to the provinces. The provincial authorities are responsible for distributing the funds. Director-General of the Baitul Mal was also receiving his salary from the Zakat fund,” said CJP Gulzar.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said the federal government has given over Rs9 billion to the provinces and it should be checked that for which purpose the amount is used.
The chief justice then asked provinces and Centre to submit reports on the distribution of Zakat funds in the next hearing. The top court also examined a report submitted by the federal government on measures taken to tackle the crisis amid coronavirus pandemic.
The chief justice also inquired about quarantine facilities provided by the government and lamented lack of transparency by authorities in controlling coronavirus.
“All governments (federal and provincial) are spending money for relief [but] there is no transparency to be seen,” the chief justice observed.
Justice Qazi Amin, who is also part of the bench questioned why schools and colleagues were not used for the quarantine facilities? “Why govt is spending money on construction of new quarantine centres”? he questioned.
To which, the Attorney-General of Pakistan, Khalid Javed, told the court that they will mull over the recommendation of making schools as quarantine facilities.
The CJP also told authorities to ensure availability of food, other essentials at all quarantine centres across the country and ordered, “Those who cannot pay should be kept in quarantine centres free of charge.”
Hearing of the case was adjourned for two weeks.

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