WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

SC adjourns NAB amends case indefinitely, asks Imran to come back on next hearing

No live streaming of the case on SC YouTube channel: PTI founder neither gets a chance to speak

By News Desk

May 16, 2024 11:39 AM


PTI founder Imran Khan appears via video link in Supreme Court on Thursday.

Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned indefinitely the hearing of the case pertaining to the changes made in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws with PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan appeared via video link but did not get a change to speak as a petitioner in the case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Five-judge apex court bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and consisting Justices Aminuddin Khan, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Athar Minallah and Hasan Azhar Rizvi heard the case.

CJP Qazi Isa while adjourning the case said that the date for next hearing will be announced later keeping in view the availability of the judges.

He also directed Imran Khan to appear before the apex court on the next hearing also.

The PTI founder remained present on the video link for about two hours and 27 minutes.

Earlier, Imran Khan was not shown live on the Supreme Court’s YouTube channel as the apex court resumed the hearing of intra-court appeals filed against its verdict declaring the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments null and void.

Former prime minister Imran Khan appeared before the apex court via video link as a petitioner in the case.

Sources told 24News TV channel that instructions had been issued to the court staff regarding not showing court proceedings live on its YouTube channel. The last hearing was live-streamed on the YouTube though.

On the other hand, in view of the likely appearance of Imran Khan in the court via a video link, the number of subscribers of the SC’s YouTube channel has jumped from 11,000 to 50,000 within a few hours on Thursday morning.

The anticipated development comes after the Supreme Court on Tuesday, hearing the case about the NAB laws, had ordered the the federal and Punjab governments to facilitate Imran Khan’s appearance on Thursday via video link from Adiala Jail.

Facing multiple cases in prison, this is Imran Khan’s first public appearance since his arrest from Zaman Park in August last year in the Toshakhana case despite reservations expressed by Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar about the SC’s directive.

On Thursday, Imran Khan appeared in the apex court via video link dressed in blue. The PTI also shared a picture of the purported video call, with a laptop screen showing him seated in a room wearing a light-blue shirt, and seemingly uninterested as he rested his face on his hand.

Senior counsel Khawaja Haris, who had earlier represented Imran Khan in the first round of litigation, appeared before the court for legal assistance while Makhdoom Ali Khan was present on behalf of the federal government.

As the proceedings began on Thursday, Khawaja Haris told CJP Isa that he would assist the court in the matter. Justice Isa then directed the lawyer to present his arguments loudly so that Imran Khan could also hear on the video call.

The federal government’s lawyer informed the apex court that the NAB amendments case was sub judice before the IHC. “Was the petition pending before the high court accepted for hearing?” Justice Minallah asked, to which Makhdoom replied in the positive.

The chief justice then sought the complete records of the case in the IHC, including the order.

Makhdoom then informed the court that the first hearing of the case took place in July 2022 and a total of 53 hearings had so far been held.

CJP Isa asked why the case went on for an extended period, to which the government counsel replied that the petitioner took more time in presenting their arguments.

Here, Justice Mandokhail asked how much time it took to legislate the NAB laws in 1999. “The NAB laws were legislated within a month immediately after the martial law,” AGP Awan replied.

At one point, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s lawyer stated that the hearing was not being broadcast live. Justice Isa then told him to sit down since others’ arguments were under way. “We just wanted to bring it to your notice,” the lawyer said before sitting back down.

“Whether suspending the Practice and Procedures Act was right or wrong, it was nevertheless suspended by the order of this court,” Justice Minallah reiterated. “If you suspend the law, and then this case is not heard, how will the country progress?” the chief justice wondered. “If you don’t like the law, then strike it down after hearing the whole case.”

“Till when will we keep living in this foolish age?” the CJP said, adding, “If I do not like a law, I suspend it; is this honesty?”

Justice Mandokhail questioned whether suspending a law at the stage of a bill not equivalent to suspending parliament’s proceedings.

“Then why not just suspend the parliament?” Justice Isa retorted. “Whether we break the law or the military does; it is the same thing,” the top judge remarked.

Justice Athar Minallah at one point remarked that now threats are being issued to the judges, to which Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Khan said he condemned these threats as these were unacceptable.

Justice Minallah said “Let them speak, they are exposing themselves.”

 NAB laws case history

In 2022, amendments were made to the country’s accountability laws by the then-Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government. The amendments made several changes to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, including reducing the term of the NAB chairman and prosecutor general to three years, limiting NAB’s jurisdiction to cases involving over Rs500 million, and transferring all pending inquiries, investigations, and trials to the relevant authorities.

Subsequently, Imran Khan had moves the Supreme Court against the amendments, claiming that the changes to the NAB law were made to benefit the influential accused persons and legitimise corruption. The petition had pleaded that the fresh amendments tend to scrap corruption cases against the president, prime minister, chief ministers and ministers and provide an opportunity to the convicted public office-holders to get their convictions undone.

In September last year, after 53 hearings, the Supreme Court had announced its 2-1 verdict, ordering the restoration of corruption cases against public office-holders that were withdrawn due to the amendments and declaring Imran’s plea to be maintainable.

The next month, a five-judge SC bench took up intra-court appeals (ICAs) against its Sept 15 judgment and stopped accountability courts from issuing a final verdict in graft cases.

In a subsequent hearing, CJP Isa had hinted that the proceedings could be started afresh if the counsel managed to “make a solid case” for the same, as earlier proceedings did not satisfy the requirements of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023.

Ali Zafar says can’t comment on case

Barrister Ali Zafar said on Thursday right now he was not in a position to comment what would be the Supreme Court’s decision on the petitions, challenging the annulment of amendments made to the NAB law by the parliament, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Talking to the media at the Supreme Court (SC), he said he did not think the court would give its decision in the case today.

He said that former prime minister Imran Khan had joined in via a video link. “It is only the beginning,” barrister said, adding, “I don’t think he will be able to give his opinion since his mike is switched off.”

The senior lawyer said he was hopeful that Imran would get the chance to record his statement once the discussion was over. 

 

Reporter: Amanat Gishkori


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. Actress Khushboo shot dead in Nowshera Actress Khushboo shot dead in Nowshera
  3. Guard shoots dead his employer in Lahore’s Ghalib Market Guard shoots dead his employer in Lahore’s Ghalib Market
  4. Sania Mirza seeks forgiveness ahead of Hajj pilgrimage Sania Mirza seeks forgiveness ahead of Hajj pilgrimage
  5. Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College
  6. Wajdan’s high demands from Chahat Fateh Ali Khan shock everyone Wajdan’s high demands from Chahat Fateh Ali Khan shock everyone

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