SC asks PTI lawyer to prove how amends diluted NAO 1999

ISLAMABAD    -   The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday asked the Pakistan Teh­rik-e-Insaf (PTI) law­yer to prove how the amendments have di­luted the National Ac­countability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, and the same are contrary to the funda­mental rights, enshrined in the Constitution of Pa­kistan. 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 the constitutional petition of PTI Chairman Imran Khan against the amendments in the NAO 1999 and decided to hear the petition on a day to day basis.

At the conclusion of Kha­waja Haris arguments, Jus­tice Bandial asked from him, “You have to show that the amendments have diluted the law (NAO) and are in violation of the fun­damental rights of the citizens, and that these amendments were made in breach of the pre-NAO laws.” He further asked him to point out specifical­ly which amendments are contrary to the fundamen­tal rights.

Kh Haris, representing the PTI chief, argued that the accountability courts across the country are in the process to return the references against the prominent politicians to the NAB, adding most of the references have been returned. The bulk of the references pending in the Accountability Courts are in respect of offences un­der sections 9(a)(v), 9(a)(vi) and 9(a)(ix) of NAO, 1999, and these are the of­fences that have been rad­ically affected by the im­pugned amendments, he added. At the start of his arguments, he explained the genesis of the National Accountability Ordinance and gave history of the various anti-corruption enacted from time to time in the country and drew their comparison with the NAO provisions. He said that erstwhile laws had also dealt with the public office holders, which cov­ered the bureaucrats and civil servants.

Justice Mansoor in­quired that whether the definition of public office holders included the judg­es and armed forces.

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