Government’s appeal challenging NAB law amendments to be heard in SC today

A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan building at sunset in Islamabad, Pakistan on October 3, 2023.  - Reuters
A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan building at sunset in Islamabad, Pakistan on October 3, 2023. – Reuters
  • An appeal was filed under Section 5 of the SC Act against the top court order.
  • The government argues that Parliament is capable of making laws.
  • The PTI chief had challenged the NAB amendments last year.

ISLAMABAD: A five-member bench of the Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the federal government’s intra-court appeal against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law amendment decision.

This is the first intra-court appeal filed after the implementation of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023. Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa will lead the bench, while it also includes Justice Amin-ud-din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi.

It is noteworthy that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf President Imran Khan had challenged the NAB amendments in 2022.

A three-member bench headed by former Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial and comprising Justices Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had conducted over 50 hearings in the case, declaring the first and second NAB amendments null and void in 2022. September 15 by a majority of 2-1.

The judgment reinstated corruption cases against public office-holders after repealing certain amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, declaring it to be against rights related to public interest. Did. In the Constitution.

Subsequently, the federal government filed an appeal under Section 5 of the SC law against the top court order.

The top court also issued notice to the lawyers.

The government had argued that the top court had exceeded its powers by striking down a law passed by Parliament and amending the NAB law.

It was further argued that Parliament is competent to make laws and has made a law amending the NAB law.

“If any law is repugnant to the fundamental rights of citizens, the court can strike it down,” she argued but also said that the amendments made to the NAB law have no impact on the fundamental rights of citizens.

Following the verdict, NAB reopened cases against political bigwigs, including former prime ministers.

In June last year, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan had filed a petition in the apex court under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution praying to strike down the amendments as they were “beyond the scope of the Constitution”. Was done.

Amendments made to the NAB law were rejected by the court, including limiting the NAB’s jurisdiction to cases involving more than Rs 500 million and an amendment that barred the accused from claiming plea money deposited after acquittal. Was allowed to do so.

The judgment written by former CJP Bandial declared Imran Khan’s plea maintainable as it violates Articles 9, 14, 24 (protection of property rights) and 25 (equality of citizens) of the Constitution and affects the public at large. Done because illegal diversion of state resources from public development projects for private use leads to poverty, deterioration in quality of life and injustice.

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