NAB submits report on cases transferred from ACs to other forums.
ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Friday submitted a report regarding transferring of cases from Accountability Courts to other forums. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah conducted hearing of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s petition against the amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.
According to the NAB report, this year a total of 22 cases were returned from the accountability courts, while 25 cases were transferred to other forums in the light of the amendments.
The report said that 12 references were transferred from NAB courts till August 30 this year. It also said that former president Asif Zardari and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are among the beneficiaries of the amendments.
It stated that NAB cases of Omni Group head Khawaja Anwar Majeed, Khursheed Anwar Jamali and Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) ex-DG Manzoor Qadir Kaka were transferred. The case of Hussain Lawai, the main suspect in the fake accounts case, was also left out of the scope of NAB. The Park Lane reference against Asif Zardari was returned by the accountability court after amendments, while the NAB case against Abdul Ghani Majeed of the Omni Group was also returned by the accountability court.
During the proceeding, Khawaja Haris contended that the fundamental rights of people are affected by obstruction in the accountability process of public office holders in NAB cases. Justice Mansoor observed that it seemed as if attempts are being made to find flaws in the amendments made to the NAO, 1999. He said that the NAB amendments were not a matter of violation of fundamental human rights. He said: “If we accept for a minute that the members of parliament made amendments to benefit themselves, should we declare the NAB amendments null and void? On what grounds should we do that?”
Kh Haris responded that the court could declare the NAB amendments void under Article 9.
Justice Mansoor told him let the judiciary and parliament function in their domain, otherwise the democratic system will not work. He observed that it seemed that attempts were being made to find flaws in the NAB amendments, but nothing could be found so far.
He said that the elections were around the corner and it should be left for the people to decide. “The biggest violation is how a person left parliament of his own free will,” Justice Mansoor said, adding that a parliamentarian is a trustee of the people. Justice Mansoor demanded: “Parliament’s forum was there, how did someone leave the representation of their constituency? What is the good intention of the petitioner?”
CJP Bandial remarked that the NAB laws were indeed being misused. “Pardons are being given by NAB indiscriminately,” he said, adding; “It is the responsibility of the state to establish a just and fair society. It has to ensure that criminals do not roam free.”