SC announces daily hearing of PTI’s petition against changes in NAB law
October 4, 2022 04:36 PM
The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday announced it would hold former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition against changes introduced by the coalition government to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law on a daily basis, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard Imran’s petition.
During the hearing, the CJP asked Imran’s counsel Khawaja Haris how much time he required to complete his arguments in the case. “I need two days to do that,” he said. Haris told the CJP that due to changes introduced by the government several cases of corruption had been returned to the NAB. “This does not stop here as several ongoing inquiries have been halted as well,” he informed.
Imran’s lawyer said the reason for making these amendments was to shield stories of corruption involving leaders of political parties, presently in power at Center.
He went on to say that on the last date of the case’s hearing, the federal government had said it would submit reply in the case.
CJP Bandial remarked that the court was still to receive the government’s reply, and the attorney general of Pakistan had not showed up today as well.
Haris said even the NAB had not placed on record its version on these changes. “It would be interesting to see whether the anti-corruption watchdog also opposes these amendments,” he added.
The CJP said the court would only try to ascertain whether basic human rights and the constitution were violated.
Over a month ago, on September 1, 2022, admitting for hearing the amended petition filed by counsel for former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan against the changes introduced by the government to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law, the Supreme Court (SC) had said it would start its hearing in the last week of September.
The court, on the occasion, said that if the federal government’s lawyer wished he could raise objections over the petition.
Khawaja Haris, Imran’s lawyer, said that the amendments had made it impossible to prove the crime of having assets beyond known sources of income. “Previously, anyone failing to defend himself in the case would face action, but not now,” he said, and added, “Following the amendments, action will only be taken if it is proved that the assets were made from the money earned through corruption.”
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked it was true that people did not normally disclose their all assets and income in their tax returns.
Later, the government, in its initial reply submitted to the apex court, prayed for throwing out PTI chairman’s petition against the NAB amendments, saying it was inadmissible for the hearing.
Reporter: Amanat Gishkori