WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

SC reserves verdict on appeals against NAB amendments after Imran presents arguments

By News Desk

June 6, 2024 06:32 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on the government's appeals against annulling the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments, 24NewsHD  on Thursday.

Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa heading a five-judge larger bench said the verdict will be pronounced soon. Former PM Khan joined the hearing through video link.

A three-member bench of the SC, in September 2023, approved former prime minister Khan’s petition challenging amendments made to the country’s accountability laws during the tenure of the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government.

Headed by then-chief justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the court held more than 50 hearings and in its majority 2-1 verdict restored graft cases against public office holders that were closed down following the amendments.

The apex court ordered restoring all graft cases worth less than Rs500 million that were closed down against the political leaders belonging to different political parties and public office holders and declared the amendments void. Following the verdict, the federal government filed an appeal against the apex court order.

At the outset of the hearing, Pakistan People's Party lawyer Farooq H Naik told the SC that various points of the judgment have been pointed out in the written submissions. “I have written my arguments on the SC judgment,” said the lawyer.

CJ Qazi Faiz asked the lawyer if he was supporting the decisions following the submissions to the court. Naik said he supports Justice Mansoor Ali Shah's note. “Are you following the arguments of Makhdoom Ali Khan?” asked the chief justice. “My position is the same but the arguments are my own,” said Naik in response. Khawaja Haris was called to attend the hearing to assist the SC in the appeals.

Justice Athar Minallah asked Haris if the way NAB arrested the accused was right. “Many amendments in NAB are good. But we were neither satisfied with 90-day remand nor the arrests,” the lawyer said. He added that the good amendments were not challenged.

After being questioned about the NAB law by the CJ, Haris told the court that it was introduced by the government of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s rule, while a similar act was passed by the Nawaz Sharif government before that.

CJ told Haris that the PTI government could have restored the NAB Act. “Pervez Musharraf said that the purpose of NAB’s work was to remove corrupt politicians from the system.” “No politician's name has been written in our petition,” said Haris.

Apparently PTI founder’s government also only wanted the accountability of the politicians, said the chief justice.

No amendment was made in relation to the judiciary and institutions or individuals on which the law is not applicable, said CJP Isa, adding that the Parliament could have legislated in this regard.

“All major political parties were in government from 1999 to 2018, said Haris, adding that no government made such amendments to the law.

Other political parties are not a party in the matter, said the chief justice, adding that the amendments were challenged by PTI, therefore, they will be questioned.

“The amendments were challenged in a specific context. Corruption affects the basic rights of people and looting people's money is a violation of fundamental rights,” said Haris, adding that NAB laws are applicable to public office holders and they aren’t just politicians.

Is only the NAB authorised to find out whether there is corruption or not, Justice Mandokhail asked.

Justice Athar remarked why NAB’s authority was only placed on the elected public office holder and not a non-elected one.

“Do you just want political accountability?” asked the CJP. He later questioned why only politicians were kept under the jurisdiction of NAB as that was “beyond comprehension”.

Haris responded: "The decisions are made by elected representatives and their implementation is done by bureaucracy."

Justice Shah's opinion was correct or the decision of the two-member bench, CJP Isa asked Haris.

“In my opinion, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah's note was not correct,” he responded.

Justice Athar remarked that the Parliament’s legislation cannot be suspended — a view that the chief justice also echoed.

He asked Haris which amendments were challenged by his client.

“The amendments in Section 2 were challenged to apply retroactively. The amendments in Section 4, 16, 21-G and Section 25-D were challenged,” said Haris.

When asked by the judge about repealed amendments, the lawyer provided details to the SC.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah remarked that political engineering was the purpose behind establishing NAB. He told Haris that his client would suffer if the NAB law amendments were annulled. After the respondents concluded their arguments, the Supreme Court reserved a verdict on the federal and provincial government’s plea.

As the chief justice asked the PTI founder to talk about the case, he questioned whether he did political point scoring over the last hearing.

CJ Qazi Faiz told him to stick by the case as the PTI founder said the court remarked during the last hearing that he talked about politics

Imran Khan continued: “What kind of dangerous man am I? Why am I being considered a suspicious character?”

“Live streaming of proceedings was going on but in my case, it ended.”

However, the chief justice said the judges do not interpret their decisions.

Imran Khan said: “I am the head of the largest political party in the country.”

The court also reminded the PTI chief of the relief and asked him to debate the extent of the case related to NAB amendments

Imran Khan objected to the government's NAB amendment. At this, the chief justice asked the PTI founder to stick to the case.

Justice Athar said that if the amendments are annulled, it will be his ‘loss’

Khan said the country would be at the receiving end if the NAB amendments were kept intact as these were made to save the corrupt elite.

The PTI founder talked about his vision of NAB formation and its independence and cited the UK laws and accountability.

To a query, Imran Khan said the Form 47 government cannot be amended the NAB laws

Justice Athar questioned if Imran read his dissenting note.

Imran Khan questioned the credibility of NAB under amended laws and cited the Toshakhana verdict within 5 days. He stressed the money laundered abroad must be brought back.

To another query, the PTI founder argued NAB should be better.

“There is a need for a special institution against corruption

Justice Athar reminded the PTI founder about the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and members.

The PTI founder said: “I am in jail, the restoration of the amendment will make matters easier for me but the country will be bankrupt.”

The CJ remarked all the problems can be solved by the politicians.

He said: “Politicians are not your enemies.  If you can talk to an enemy country, why not to politicians?

Addressing Imran Khan, Justice Athar said: “I hope you will come to power someday. Resolve political issues in Parliament.

“When it comes to corruption, everyone has to stop it.

“If there is no money in the country, no one will take the government.

“Farooq H Naik and Faisal Javed are sitting, all these politicians can solve the problems together.”

 

 

 

 


News Desk


Most Read

  1. Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many
  2. Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College
  3. All eyes on Sajal Aly and Hamza Ali Abbasi's exciting comeback on screen All eyes on Sajal Aly and Hamza Ali Abbasi's exciting comeback on screen
  4. Bajwa-Khan bond 2.0: After Urvashi Rautela, Sonam Bajwa becomes Naseem Shah’s fan Bajwa-Khan bond 2.0: After Urvashi Rautela, Sonam Bajwa becomes Naseem Shah’s fan
  5. K-pop Aoora wins masses through jumping on Bado Badi bandwagon K-pop Aoora wins masses through jumping on Bado Badi bandwagon
  6. Nora Fatehi celebrates her Moroccan identity with new song ‘Nora’ Nora Fatehi celebrates her Moroccan identity with new song ‘Nora’

Opinion

  1. An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!
    An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!

    By Sudheendra Kulkarni

  2. Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model
    Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. Modi's myth broken, yet in power
    Modi's myth broken, yet in power

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  4. Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2
    Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  5. Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era
    Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era

    By Dr Asif Channer

  6. Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation
    Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation

    By Naveed Aman Khan