ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday proposed amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, related to the issuance of bail and timeframe of the trail.
In the 22-page verdict of the top court authored by incoming chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the SC said, “In the changed scenario the legislature may, if so advised, consider amending the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 appropriately so as to enable an accused person to apply for his bail before the relevant Accountability Court in the first instance.”
The judgement was given by a larger bench to decide bail appeal of an office superintendent working with Quetta’s director development Tallat Ishaq.
“It is also recommended that the unrealistic timeframe for conclusion of a trial specified in section 16(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 may also be reconsidered and revisited by the legislature,” the verdict further elaborated.
The judgement also said that the original intent behind introduction of section 9(b) of the NAO ousting jurisdiction of the courts regarding grant of bail in a case under the said ordinance already stands neutralised by opening of the door for bail through exercise of constitutional jurisdiction of a high court. The entire burden is being shouldered by the high courts which is an unnecessary drain on their precious time, the apex court said.
“Apart from that the High Courts and this Court have always felt difficulty in adjusting the requirements of ‘without lawful authority’ and ‘of no legal effect’ relevant to a writ of certiorari (Article 199(1)(a)(ii) of the Constitution) with the requirements of bail provided in section 497, CrPc,” said the judgement.
Meanwhile, the top court dismissed the petition and expressed concerns over the delay in conclusion of the trail.