SC wonders whether it could order re-enactment of law after its repeal
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The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday said what it could do when the parliament itself had done away with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
During the hearing of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition against amendments introduced by the coalition government in the NAB law, the SC wondered whether it had ever ordered reenactment of the law after it was repealed by the parliament.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard PTI chairman’s petition.
Counsel for the NAB, on the occasion, submitted to the court in writing the statement in which the bureau said that it was in complete harmony with the attorney general of Pakistan’s stance on the case.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that Imran could have raised his voice against these amendments in the National Assembly (NA) since masses had also returned him and other members of PTI to the NA. “Why did Imran and other party members of the NA resigned from their seats without taking their electorate into confidence?” he questioned, and added it would have been better if he had raised his voice from the floor of the House.
Khawaja Haris, Imran’s lawyer, replied that the PTI’s decision that its lawmakers would resign from their seats en masse was a political one.
He reminded the apex court that it had declared in its previous decisions that corruption was like a ‘cancer’ for the country. “How sad it is that instead of further improving the NAB law, the present government preferred to weaken it,” he regretted.
Imran’s lawyer also reminded the SC that, in one of its decisions, it had ordered reenactment of the law which had been repealed in 1990.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that parliament was not above the laws of Shariah as well as the constitution. “Accountability is the basic tenet of Islam,” he said.
Khawaja Haris told the court that as per the changes, the principle of ‘plea bargain’ had been done away with. “Now a suspect, taking advantage of amendments in the NAB law, can also ask for the return of the amount he or she has deposited after striking a plea bargain deal,” he disclosed.
CJP said if that happened, the state would have to pay billions of rupees to the suspect.
Later, the court adjourned hearing of the case until tomorrow.
Reporter: Amanat Gishkori