LHC moved against Ord on NAB Law

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Amraiz Khan

A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court on Saturday against the recently promulgated National Accountability Bureau (Amendment) Ordinance 2021.

The petitioner has made the federal government and others as respondents in the case. The government in a recently promulgated presidential ordinance amended the NAB law and extended tenure of the incumbent Chairman NAB Justice (r) Javed Iqbal.

“The NAB Amendment Ordinance contravenes the judgments of the higher judiciary,” according to the petition.

“An ordinance could not be promulgated in presence of the parliament,” the petition said. “Legislation is the mandate of the Parliament,” the petitioner said seeking the court to declare the NAB ordinance as “unconstitutional and unlawful”.

The plea further said that a law should not be person-specific and requested to the court to keep law in abeyance until final decision of this petition.

President Arif Alvi had promulgated the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2021 paving way to extend the tenure of the chairman of the anti-graft watchdog.

As per the new law, the accountability court would have the authority to approve bail plea of the suspect.Attorney General Khalid Javed earlier said that a consultation would be made with the opposition leader over the appointment and extension of the NAB chairman.

“The incumbent chairman will continue to work until a consensus is reached on the appointment or extension,” the AG said. It is to be mentioned here that the incumbent Chairman NAB, Javed Iqbal’s four-year term completed on October 8 (yesterday).

Meanwhile, The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday sought legal opinions on the legal status of cryptocurrency in the country until October 20. The court directed the FIA and other departments to give their opinions on the scope of hearing of a cryptocurrency case.

The LHC also barred a banking court from hearing the bail petition of a suspect in a cryptocurrency case. The LHC said it wanted to know whether a legal framework had been devised to regulate cryptocurrency.

“Has the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) sought public opinion on the currency? Is the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) authorised to probe matters related to the cryptocurrency business? And does the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act prohibit people from dealing in cryptocurrency? Javed Kasuri Advocate appeared before the court on behalf of Muhammad Asghar, the petitioner in the case.

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