SC admits for hearing PTI’s petition against changes to NAB law
Govt challenges PTI’s petition; says it is inadmissible for hearing
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Admitting for hearing the amended petition filed by counsel for former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan against the changes introduced by the government to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said it would start its hearing in the last week of September, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The court, on the occasion, said that if the federal government’s lawyer wished he could raise objections over the petition.
Khawaja Haris, Imran’s lawyer, said that the amendments had made it impossible to prove the crime of having assets beyond known sources of income. “Previously, anyone failing to defend himself in the case would face action, but not now,” he said, and added, “Following the amendments, action will only be taken if it is proved that the assets were made from the money earned through corruption.”
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked it was true that people did not normally disclose their all assets and income in their tax returns.
Imran’s lawyer argued that the NAB was not supposed to look into the concealing of assets and income since it was not necessary that the properties concealed had been made from ill-gotten wealth.
Later, the government, in its initial reply submitted to the apex court, prayed for throwing out PTI chairman’s petition against the NAB amendments, saying it was inadmissible for the hearing.
It was stated in the government’s reply that neither Imran was an aggrieved party in the case nor had he filed the petition with good intention. “The SC has already made it clear it will not interfere in political matters. Furthermore, Imran himself used to introduce such amendments through ordinances when he was the country’s prime minister,” read the petition.
It was further said that the PTI chairman had challenged these amendments citing Islamic injunctions. “But declaring laws and amendments against the Islamic Shariah is only Shariat Court’s prerogative. And now these amendments could not be declared null and void merely on the basis of objections which are made in routine,” read the petition.
Furthermore, it was stated in the government’s reply, the NAB had been controversial from the very beginning since it paralyzed the government machinery due to which the country’s economy suffered.
Reporter: Amanat Gishkori