Hamid Khan, counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in NAB appointment case, on Thursday said the government and opposition struck a deal in the appointment of Qamaruz Zaman as the NAB chairman.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) presided over by Justice Nasirul Mulk took up the case for hearing. Khan also said that no meaningful consultation was made in the matter.
Justice Mulk said, “If the prime minister (PM) has to carry out job of advice and consultation then where will the constitutional role of president be placed under section 6 of NAB ordinance. If objection is accepted over the matter of civil servant then it will become compulsory to declare the said section illegal.”
Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani said, “What sort of consultation it is that on first day retirement on second day appointment and on third day notification was issued.”
Khawaja Harris, counsel for the federal government, said that no written record existed on the consultations made between the PM and opposition leader in connection with the appointment.
Khan argued that the president was bound to consult with the chief justice of Pakistan. Consultation with leader of the House and opposition leader was a must.
Justice Amir Hani Muslim said, “Consultation with two leaders was must and notification is indicating all this.”
Khan said the Presidency played no role in this regard.
Justice Mulk inquired if the record of minutes of consultation was available.
Harris said no record on consultation is available in writing as all of it took place verbally.
Hamid Khan said, “Only holding meeting with opposition leader is not sufficient. President was to make consultation with the leader of the house and leader of the opposition which was not done.”
Justice Sarmad said, “Opposition had come to court in the case of appointment of Fasih Bokhari that no consultation was made with him. You are not opposition leader. You say that deal has been brokered.”
Justice Mulk said, “Matter was put up before the president and he approved it. Does this not appear from it that he has agreed to this appointment.”
Imran Khan’s counsel said that if the meaningful consultation had taken place then there was no need of him to attend the hearing. He added Zaman was not eligible to become the chairman as his past was tainted.
Justice Amir Hani Muslim said, “If Qamaruz Zaman was eligible to be appointed as chairman or otherwise after his retirement.”
Hamid Khan said his appointment was discriminatory. In this case haste was shown specifically.
Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi argued Zaman was a civil servant but he was appointed the NAB chairman. PM Nawaz Sharif and Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah and Qamaruz Zaman should be disqualified, he added.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan appeared in the court on behalf of the opposition leader. He argued that Zaman was facing no corruption charges. The government made consultations seven times in this regard, he said.
Earlier, it was made binding on the president to make consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) in connection with the appointment of judges but it did not mean that the role of PM has been eliminated. It was PM who was to give advice and it was mandatory for the president to act upon the advice.
Justice Mulk said if the PM alone has to give advice and the president was bound to act upon it then what type of consultation would be made by the president with the opposition leader in connection with the appointment and what would be its position.
Ahsan said consultation with the president meant consultation with the PM. If PM has consulted with the opposition leader and they have agreed on any name then the PM has to send only advice and it is mandatory for the president to act upon it.
The hearing of the case was adjourned until Friday (today).