ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has sought details of the NAB cases sent back by the Accountability Courts to the Bureau after the amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard former prime minister Imran Khan’s petition against the amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.
The bench also told the NAB prosecutor to provide details of amount recovered through plea bargain. During the proceeding, the chief justice said it was not the job of the apex court to resolve disputes of the parliamentarians. It added the legislators should resolve their disputes themselves. He asked the NAB prosecutor to inform who are those people benefited from the amendments in NAO.
Justice Mansoor questioned how many cases were sent back to the NAB and how many cases were closed. He said they wanted to know the truth about the cases became ineffective and closed due to the amendments. The NAB prosecutor informed that none of the cases before the Accountability Courts were closed. However, he told that the cases sent back to NAB were shifted to other relevant forums.
Justice Mansoor further asked the prosecutor also submit the details of NAB cases, which were decided on merits. Justice Ijaz remarked that many cases automatically became ineffective after the amendment that all corruption cases involving an amount below Rs500 million would not come under NAB’s purview. Makhdoom Ali Khan, representing the federal government, argued that the court should also be aware where is the money received by the NAB in plea bargain. He said when the Public Accounts Committee had inquired from NAB chairman about the amount collected in plea bargain, he did not submit any reply in that regard. He contended that the Court should inquire from the petitioner how many NAB cases were terminated during his tenure.
The chief justice remarked that since the creation of Pakistan there has been anti-corruption law in Pakistan, adding the petitioner might have concern over the objectives of anti-corruption law changed after the amendments. Justice Ijaz said the case before the Court is regarding public trust on NAB amendments. If it would be established that the amendment violated the public trust, then the court from any angle would render judgment in this case.
The chief justice said if the court does not intervene in the instances where the law is violated then it would be injustice with the people of the country. The Court in this case would determine the red-lines in NAB law.
Earlier, the chief justice welcomed Shehzad Ata Elahi, newly appointed Attorney General for Pakistan, saying with the new AGP appointment the government legal team would be strengthened. The case is adjourned until today (Wednesday).