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Supreme Court seeks record of beneficiaries of NAB law in PTI govt

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  • Govt counsel says amendments in line with previous ones.
  • Says SC should not confine itself only to 386 cases and references.
  • Bringing new amendments to NAB law cannot have a retrospective effect, says SC judge.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the record of beneficiaries of NAB ordinances promulgated during the tenure of Imran Khan from the National Accountability Bureau.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsen and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, heard the petition of former prime minister and Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, challenging the amendments made by the coalition government to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

Makhdom Ali Khan, counsel for the federal government, while advancing his arguments, submitted before the court that the present amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999 were in continuation of the previous amendments made to the law.

He submitted that the court should not confine itself only to the 386 cases and references that were sent back by the accountability court after amendments were made to the NAO 1999 by the present government. Makhdom Ali Khan, in response to Justice Ijazul Ahsen’s query the other day, 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 and how many accused were acquitted through these ordinances and who benefited from it. “Then you should tell us what questions we should pose to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and we will note them down,” Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial told the learned counsel for the federal government.

The counsel replied that the court should ask the NAB how many references were sent back by the accountability courts through the ordinances promulgated by the PTI government.

Similarly, the counsel submitted that the court should also ask the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) how many people got acquitted through the PTI ordinances and how many applications for acquittal were returned by the trial courts.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed that even if the anti-graft body law was abolished, other laws could tackle the crimes. The judge said that it was incorrect to say that after being acquitted in the NAB cases and becoming clean, one could go home easily.

“This impression is incorrect that by abolishing the NAB, the grip of the law will also be reduced,” Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said.

Justice Ijazul Ahsen said that it was the stance of the petitioner that the standard of establishing the crime has been changed in NAB cases through the amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

This is also an important question after being convicted in NAB cases; how could the new amendments be applied with retrospective effect?

“Bringing new amendments to the NAB law could not have a retrospective effect,” Justice Ahsen remarked, adding that it was very strange that the new amendments to the NAB law have such great amnesty.

“I also know that there are other laws besides the NAB laws, but after all, if an accountability court acquits an accused of an offence, he will go home,” the judge remarked.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for today (Thursday). 

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A joint parliamentary party meeting is called by PTI and SIC.

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A joint parliamentary party meeting was held on Thursday in Parliament House, Islamabad, by the Sunni-Ittehad Council and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

The sources state that representatives from both parties attended the meeting and discussed a range of topics.

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PTI will petition the SJC to stop the “arbitrary” selection of ad hoc judges.

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Barrister Gohar, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), declared on Thursday that the government would collapse if the PTI was outlawed.

After attending the PTI and Sunni-Ittehad Council (SIC) joint parliamentary party meeting, the PTI chief, along with PTI leaders Omar Ayub Khan, Shibli Faraz, and Asad Qaiser, spoke to the media. They announced that they would petition the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to stop the appointment of ad hoc judges to the highest court.

Since the PTI is widespread throughout the nation, he claimed that it represents 70% of Pakistanis and that it shouldn’t be treated unfairly in any setting.

The PTI head attacked the plan to nominate four ad hoc judges to the supreme court, claiming that doing so will undermine the judiciary’s independence.

“This choice is motivated by bad intentions. This is the moment to hear the rulings of the SC, not to make such choices. He stressed, “We demand that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) release our notifications immediately.

Moreover, Omar Ayub Khan, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, blasted the Chief Justice of Pakistan for appointing judges who share his views and urged the CJP to refrain from assigning the PTI’s cases to ad hoc judges.

Additionally, Senate Opposition Leader Shibli Faraz criticised the government for fabricating accusations against Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan.

Asad Qaiser, a former speaker of the NA, stated that Nawaz Sharif intended to leave the country for London, but he insisted that the former prime minister should apologise to the people before leaving this time. Additionally, he asked the administration to follow the constitution rather than enforcing anarchy throughout the nation.

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A party may be banned by the government under Article 17: Sana Rana

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Article 17 of the Constitution, according to PML-N senior leader Rana Sanullah Khan, gives the government the authority to declare a political party illegal.

During an appearance on a TV talk show, Sanaullah stated that the Supreme Court will review a decree banning a political party within 15 days of the cabinet’s approval.

Sanaullah stated that the government had just so far stated its intentions about the PTI’s prohibition, but that “a ban is imposed on that party if the apex court agrees to the declaration.”
The constitutional procedure will be followed, he said, whenever the administration makes a decision.

Like the PTI, the former minister remarked, the government has the right to voice its opinions and work towards achievement.

“There is no harm in making efforts if the government has an option to get the reserved seats through constitutional means,” he said.

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