NAB amendments backed by court judgments, says SC

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Asks Imran’s counsel to explain ‘unconstitutional’ nature of amendments

Supreme Court’s Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Friday observed that there is a SC judgment behind every recent amendment in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 as he asked Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s counsel Khawaja Haris to explain how the amendments are unconstitutional.

The three-judge special bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial heard a petition in Islamabad against the recent changes to the accountability law passed by the incumbent government, as it issued notices over Imran’s plea for staying the operation of the amendments.

Earlier, Khawaja Haris had requested the court to declare the amendment “null and void” under the premise that it was in “conflict” with the Constitution.

“A constitutional amendment against its structure is not possible,” argued the PTI leader’s lawyer.

To this, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah responded that “the Constitution has no basic structure”, and added that “the parliament has the authority to change the entire Constitution”.

The judge also questioned that “if the government had abolished the NAB law, what would be the basis of your request?” “Accountability is emphasised in both Islam and the Constitution,” responded Haris.

Justice Shah retorted, “if you depend on Islam, why don’t you challenge the NAB amendments in the Shariat Court?” He also stated that “a petition against the NAB amendments is also under hearing in the Islamabad High Court, would it not be appropriate to let the High Court decide first?”

 

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