Supreme Court seeks fresh list of beneficiaries of NAB amendments
CJP observes amendments have made it difficult to prove some crimes: Asks AGP to satisfy court that no offence has been abolished
By News Desk
August 30, 2023 03:09 PM
During a case hearing, the Supreme Court sought a list of beneficiaries of the NAB amendments, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Wednesday heard a petition filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan challenging the amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).
At the outset of the hearing, Chief Justice Bandial inquired of the NAB to inform the court as to how many references were returned after the amendments were made to the NAO.
The NAB submitted one report in December and another in January.
The court, however, directed the bureau to submit a fresh list of the beneficiaries of the NAB amendments.
The chief justice further remarked that the court would see how the law was applied from the past after the amendments.
‘Amendments have made it difficult to prove some crimes’
The chief justice remarked that the important point in this case is that the entire law has been falsified. In practice, many of the offences in this case were either expunged or the evidentiary procedure was altered by the amendments, he added.
The top judge went on to say that the process of evidence was made very difficult, immunity was also given through the NAB amendments and a limit of Rs500 million was set.
Chie Justice Bandial observed that the crimes eliminated by the amendments are still crimes under other laws. He remarked that many crimes have been abolished by the amendments, the nature of some has been changed. He said that the NAB amendments have made it very difficult to prove some crimes. By making the minimum limit of Rs500 million, many cases have been taken out of the jurisdiction of the NAB, he added.
The top judge remarked that NAB prepares several cases against the same accused in which there are hundreds of witnesses. Because of hundreds of witnesses, NAB cases continue for many years. Even so, at least the person responsible should be identified and punished.
It is true that there are many flaws in the NAB law and it has not been applied correctly, but the court cannot determine that setting a limit of Rs500 million is correct or not, the chief justice remarked.
CJP Bandial asked the attorney general to satisfy the court that no crime has been abolished. He said that many good amendments have also been made such as right of appeal, bail, and remand, adding that all these amendments were made on the basis of humanity because people used to languish in jails for years without sentence.
The top judge remarked that the court wants to see if some wrong door was not opened by these amendments.
The court then adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.
Reporter Amanat Gishkori