SC hears Imran’s petition challenging NAB amendments

SC dismisses NAB appeal seeking cancellation of bail

ISLAMABAD, Feb 07 (APP): The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard former prime minister Imran Khan’s petition challenging amendments in the National Accountability (NAB) Ordinance by the government.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the case. During the course of proceedings, the Supreme Court once again asked for the details of the cases which had been disposed of due to the NAB amendments or transferred to the relevant forum.

Justice Mansoor asked the NAB to submit the details of how many cases were decided and returned under the NAB amendments.

He asked how much truth was there in the impression that many cases were closed or rendered ineffective by the NAB amendments. To which the special prosecutor of the bureau said that no case had been closed since the NAB amendments came to the fore.

“NAB has not closed prosecution in any case,” he replied adding that only few NAB cases had been moved to the respective forums only after the amendments.

Justice Mansoor asked the prosecutor to submit the details of the cases which were decided on merit after the NAB amendments. The chief justice asked which cases had benefited from NAB amendments.

Justice Ijaz remarked that less than Rs 500 million corruption cases automatically became ineffective with the NAB amendments. NAB had transferred corruption cases of less than Rs 500 million rupees, he added.

Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan counsel for the federal government said that the court should also know what NAB did with the money collected from the plea bargain.

He said that the Public Accounts Committee had asked Chairman NAB Aftab Sultan to submit details of the plea bargain amount but the latte did not give any reply to the Public Accounts Committee.

The court ordered NAB to include the details regarding the plea bargain amount in the report.

Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the court should also ask the petitioner how many NAB cases were closed during his tenure.

The chief justice said that It was not the function of the court to resolve disputes created by Parliament. He observed that the Parliament should itself resolve its disputes.

He said that anti-corruption law had existed since the creation of Pakistan.

“Imran Khan is probably worried about NAB amendments changing the requirements of the original law,” the CJP observed.

Justice Mansoor asked could the court itself interpret fundamental rights. Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the court could only intervene when a branch of government overstepped its limits.

The chief justice said that if the court did not intervene in any violation, it would be extremely unfair to the people.

“The redline would be set on the NAB law through this case,” the CJP held.

Subsequently, the hearing of the case was adjourned till Wednesday.