Judge Bashir appointed to NAB court for fourth time

By: News Desk      Published: 07:37 PM, 31 Mar, 2021
Judge Muhammad Bashir. File Photo
Judge Muhammad Bashir. File Photo

District and sessions judge Mohammad Bashir has been again appointed as the accountability judge of Islamabad for the fourth time, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi has yet again appointed District and sessions judge Mohammad Bashir as judge of the Accountability Court No 1. He has been appointed for three years in the special court and the Law Ministry has issued a notification in this regard.

District and sessions judge Mohammad Bashir had relinquished his duties as Accountability Judge in January this year after serving nine consecutive years in the office.

He was appointed as the accountability judge of Islamabad in 2012 for a period of three years. He, however, got an extension of three years while hearing cases related to former president Asif Ali Zardari. The judge acquitted Mr Zardari in all the five cases which were filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) during the regime of former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf.

Judge Bashir got another three-year extension since he was hearing the Avenfield properties reference in which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and retired Capt Mohammad Safdar were nominated as the accused persons. He was working under the supervision of Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Supreme Court.

He had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in jail in a graft case, however, has recused himself from hearing two other corruption cases against the former prime minister.

Bashir has become the first-ever judicial officer who stayed for nine consecutive years in an accountability court since the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) was promulgated in 1999. He was given an extension on the direction of the then chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. He will now serve for the fourth term which would be another record.

Interestingly, section 5 (a) of NAO says: “A judge of court who is a serving district and sessions judge shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of his initial appointment as such judge.”

Judge Bashir during the last week of his term gave permanent exemption to property tycoon Malik Riaz from attending the proceedings of Rs100 billion land scam related to Bahria Icon Tower.