SC to see NAB law amends’ conformity to int’l standards

Questions rationale of making cases over collective decisions of cabinet

Picture source - supremecourt.gov.pk

The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) challenging the recent amendments in the NAB Ordinance till October 18.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, heading the three-member bench which heard the case, remarked that the top court would look into the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance amendments as per the international standards and local laws. He asked the petitioner’s lawyer Khawaja Haris to point out the facts showing how the amendments had impacted the basic rights of the public.

The CJP observed that the decisions used to be taken in the cabinet and working development parties. He asked whether all the members of cabinet or committees should be named as accused over the decisions, and if that were the case then who would take the decisions. He remarked that if everything was discussed by the parliament then the decision making process would slow down.

He noted that the liquefied natural gas (LNG) case was prepared without going into the facts, adding that such agreements were signed at the government level. CJP Bandial observed that many bureaucrats were acquitted in the NAB references though they had faced imprisonment. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked whether the accused who had escaped the NAB law could be tried under any other law. Petitioner’s lawyer Khawaja Haris said that there was no other law to deal with the cases pertaining to assets beyond known sources of income. After the NAB law amendments, action against an accused could be taken only if the charge of financial gain was proved.

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