A written order issued by the Supreme Court (SC) directed all accountability courts to treat cases expeditiously, wherein cases should be heard daily and adjournments should not be granted.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed during the hearing of a suo motu case regarding a delay in the trial of corruption cases issued the above order.
“The Prosecutor General, NAB [National Accountability Bureau] will ensure availability of all witnesses, from the prosecution side, in all the References pending before the Accountability Courts and shall not seek any adjournment in this regard,” the written SC order stated.
A day earlier, the SC ordered the government to make a decision within a month about establishing 120 accountability courts throughout the country.
The CJP had sought a report from NAB, but was told that its amended rules were with the Law Ministry,
The additional attorney general informed the court that at the moment there were 24 fully functional accountability courts working in the country. There was no vacant post in any of these courts, he added.
“Currently 24 accountability courts are fully operational across the country. The judges have been appointed to vacant positions and there are no vacant seats in the NAB courts now,” said Additional Attorney General (AAG) Sohail Mahmood.
“There is no room for ad hocism now,” the chief justice remarked, adding that there is NAB had said the same during a previous hearing.
The apex court expressed dismay over of 1,226 pending references since the year 2000. The directives were issued in the light of Section 16 of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, which asks for deciding corruption matters within a period of 30 days.