SC seeks record of all high-profile cases from NAB

Picture source - supremecourt.gov.pk

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the record of all high-profile references – from 2001 to 2022 – from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The top court directed the bureau to submit details of cases, including those in which the SC maintained the sentences, number of concluded references and returning of cases after amendments to the NAB law.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the case of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) against the amendments to the NAB ordinance.

During the proceedings, the CJP remarked that it was the responsibility of the state to protect public assets. The country was badly suffering due to huge foreign loans and then its misuse, he added.

He observed that most of the unnecessary expenditures were spent on mere luxury of the elite class, while more than 70 per cent of the population of the country was living below the poverty line.

He further remarked that there were several mafias in the country that spread unrest and anarchy because there were no appropriate regulators in society.

The court observed that the tax was collected on property and wealth internationally but the wealth tax in Pakistan was quashed in 2001. Now there was no control on making assets and property in the country, he said. Justice Bandial said that it was not the job of the apex court to review economic policies. If someone had committed a crime then there was a complete method of fair trial in the law, he said. He further asked whether the law could be terminated with just an executive action.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said that the duty of the top court was to interpret the law instead of designing it. He said the FATF had pointed out weaknesses in the law, adding that “we have to adopt international standards in introducing various laws”. He observed that whether the amendments were introduced to benefit a certain group. The 280 corruption cases worth billions of rupees had already been returned, he said.

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