ISLAMABAD     -   Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan Monday contended before the Supreme Court of Pakistan that due to amendments in the Na­tional Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, accountability courts across Pak­istan had returned large number of ref­erences to the NAB against prominent politicians of the ruling coalition.

In this regard, the PTI Chair­man submitted a fresh application through Advocate Khawaja Haris in his pending petition before the apex court to place more documents against the impugned amendments in the NAO, 1999. A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah will take up PTI chief’s petition on Tuesday (today). He maintained that since 01.09.2022 a large number of references pending in the Account­ability Courts throughout Pakistan have been returned to the National Accountability Bureau, as, in the light of the amendments, the Ac­countability Courts no longer have jurisdiction to try these cases.

“The references thus returned pertain to offences falling inter alia under Sections 9(a)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi),(ix),(x),(xii), of NAO, 1999, and have been so returned by invok­ing provisions of inter alia sections 1(2), 2, 4(a)-(g), 5(o) and 9(a)(vi) of NAO. 1999,” he added. He stated that a large number of references (more than 90% of pending references, if not all) are also hit by the impugned amendments, but have not yet been disposed of returned by the account­ability courts. Similarly, there are nu­merous (if not all) pending enquiries and investigations which have been or are in the process of being simi­larly wound up in the light of the pro­visions introduced in the NAO by the impugned amendments. Khan said that prominent politicians who have so far benefited from these amend­ments by way of return of References pending against them include Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, ex-Chief Minister Punjab Hamza She­hbaz, former premiers Yosuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Senator Saleem Mandviwalla.