Court will interfere if NAB law amendments violate fundamental rights of people, says SC

Summons reply from anti-graft watchdog

The Supreme Court on Friday said if amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law are “in conflict with the fundamental rights of the people” then the top court will interfere and examine the matter.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah heard the former prime minister Imran Khan’s petition against the NAB law amendments.

The government was represented by Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan whereas Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman was represented by Advocate Khawaja Harris.

During the hearing, Imran’s lawyer contended before the court that after the amendments, all the cases of possessing assets beyond means and misusing powers will be discarded.

Responding to the argument, Justice Shah said if the opposition has a problem with the amendments being made to the NAB law then they should pass a bill in the National Assembly. Terming the parliament’s role as crucial, he added that if the parliament makes a law then it must be respected.

Justice Ahsan remarked that if the public’s money was used for corruption then fundamental rights of the people have been violated and the court can look into the matter.

Replying to the judge, the government’s lawyer highlighted how Imran made the same amendments through an ordinance. “If he was agreeing to it the past then why is he opposing it now?,” Makhdoom questioned. “How did the President’s letter to the PM become part of the petition?”

Lawyer Makhdoom went on to say that the top court is being turned into the third chamber of the parliament. “If the motive is only politics then another forum should be used instead of the court.”

Hearing all the arguments, the CJ Bandial said the apex court has to look at the public interest as well keeping in mind that the country’s economy is on the verge of destruction.

The SC has summoned a reply pertaining to the case from the anti-graft watchdog.

Case has been adjourned till August 19.

Imran Khan

NAB

Supreme Court

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