Supreme Court adjourned the hearing till July 29.
NAB amendments: SC seeks govt reply. Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday sought reply from government over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) petition seeking to declare amendments to NAB law unconstitutional.
Three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing on the petition and remarked that Law Minister has said that the new amendments are as per the rulings of the apex court; however, PTI counsel rejected the notion and said that the changes were made in a hurry and are against ruling of the court.
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CJP remarked that the court can nullify laws that are enacted to benefit certain individuals; however, he stressed that hurdles should not be created in functioning of the government as public servants are hesitant to take decisions due to NAB laws.
The court remarked that anyone who commits corruption should be severally dealt with but a necessary decision taken by him should not also be set aside.
SC adjourned the hearing till July 29 and sought reply from the government on the petition.
Judges question why matter not raised in parliament
During the hearing today, Justice Shah questioned the petitioner’s (Imran) right. “The petitioner walked out of parliament. He has the public’s trust.
“Such serious amendments were passed by parliament. In such a situation, does the petitioner have the right to make a claim?” the judge asked.
Qureshi said that he was a member of the parliamentary committee that discussed the amendments but the chief justice asked him whether he had understood the bench’s question.
“Where were you when the amendments were being passed? What are the PTI’s numbers in parliament? Think about the country and the nation.”
The CJP said he was aware the common man was affected by the cases heard by the apex court.
“The bill was passed without any hindrance,” he pointed out, while Justice Ahsan said the arguments should have been raised in parliament.
Justice Shah also observed that parliament was the relevant forum to discuss the matter. “How did you become the affected party after exiting it and coming to the court?”
Qureshi responded that the PML-N had the majority and even if the PTI had opposed it, the bill would have been bulldozed through parliament.
The CJP said a recommendation was “hidden” in the bench’s questions and the PTI should consider it for the people’s sake.
“There is no alternative forum of the parliament.
“The staff-level agreement with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has been done but it is not being accepted by the public. The currency is fluctuating every day,” the chief justice observed.
The PTI requested the bench to link “benefits given to suspects [in accountability cases] under the amendments to court orders” — a move opposed by Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman.
Justice Ahsan asked why the government would have a problem if relief was linked to court decisions. Justice Shah pointed out that if the amendments were declared illegal, any benefit would be reversed.
“Legal action will be started if benefits are reversed,” Justice Ahsan observed.
However, the additional attorney general informed the SC that the amendments had already been challenged in the Islamabad High Court and it would be appropriate to allow the high court to announce its verdict first.
Subsequently, the court issued notices to the federation, the law secretary, the attorney general and the NAB. It also asked the PTI vice-chairman to inform the court in a written response why his party did not raise objections when the amendments were passed.