SC asks PTI why it didn’t object to NAB law changes in parliament

53

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, while issuing notices to the federation, law secretary, attorney general and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s application challenging the amendments to the NAB Ordinance, asked the party why it did not raise its objections in parliament.

A three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, heard the petition.

It asked PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi why his party did not raise its objections when the bill was passed, with the chief justice remarking that there was “no alternative” to parliament.

At the outset of the hearing, the chief justice asked Imran’s lawyer Khawaja Haris whether the amendments to the ordinance were supported by judgements. Haris replied that they were in contradiction to Supreme Court judgements, not in line with them.

Justice Ahsan observed that “many” amendment bills were passed in haste. Haris said the court would have to consider the United Nations Convention against Corruption while hearing the case. “Majority of the cases are related to the misuse of power or assets beyond means,” he told the court, adding that after the amendments, a case cannot be made unless the person in authority himself benefits in some way.

At this, Justice Shah asked whether lawmakers should not be allowed to use their privileges. “If parliament declares tomorrow that murder is not a crime, will it be allowed?” questioned Haris in return.

Justice Shah then asked whether the court could overturn the law should parliament abolish the death penalty to which Haris replied that it was a different matter.

“When the matter is related to corruption and the national treasury, it becomes a question of fundamental rights. If a patwari steals someone’s money, action is taken against him. Should action not be taken against a powerful man?” the counsel asked.

 

Previous articlePKR closes at Rs222 against dollar in interbank
Next articleFire engulfs homes near London as temperatures hit record 40C