Supreme Court Seeks Record of Beneficiaries of NAB Law in PTI Govt
The Supreme Court requested from the National Accountability Bureau a list of beneficiaries of NAB regulations issued during Imran Khan’s term.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday requested from the National Accountability Bureau a list of beneficiaries of NAB ordinances issued during Imran Khan’s term.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial and including Justice Ijazul Ahsen and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, heard the petition of former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan challenging the coalition government’s amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.
Makhdom Ali Khan, counsel for the federal government, argued before the court that the current revisions to the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999 were a continuation of past amendments to the statute.
He said that the court should not limit itself to the 386 cases and references returned by the accountability court after the current administration amended the NAO 1999. In response to Justice Ijazul Ahsen’s question the other day, Makhdom Ali Khan said that since five NAB ordinances were promulgated during the three-and-a-half-year government, the court could have also asked how many references were sent back, how many accused were acquitted, and who benefited from it.
“Then you should tell us what questions we should ask the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and we will take them down,” Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial instructed the federal government’s experienced counsel.
The attorney said that the court should inquire of the NAB how many referrals were returned by accountability courts as a result of the ordinances issued by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf administration.
Similarly, counsel suggested that the court inquire with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) about how many persons were acquitted as a result of the PTI ordinances and how many motions for acquittal were denied by the trial courts.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah stated at the start of the hearing that even if the anti-graft body statute was repealed, other laws might be used to combat the offences. The judge stated that it was erroneous to state that after being acquitted in the NAB cases and getting clean, one could easily return home.
“The assumption that by dissolving the NAB, the grasp of the law will be weakened is erroneous,” Justice Mansoor Ali Shah stated.
According to Justice Ijazul Ahsen, the petitioner’s position is that the criterion for demonstrating the crime in NAB proceedings has altered as a result of modifications to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.
This is a crucial point to consider after being convicted in NAB cases: how can the new changes be applied retroactively?
“Bringing new adjustments to the NAB legislation could not have a retrospective impact,” Justice Ahsen said, adding that the recent additions to the NAB law have such broad amnesty.
“I am also aware that there are other laws in addition to the NAB statutes, but after all, if an accountability court acquits an accused of an offence, he will go home,” the judge observed.
Meanwhile, the hearing has been postponed till today (Thursday).
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