CJP Bandial vows to hand down ‘short and sweet’ judgement on Khan’s petition against amending NAB law
The Supreme Court of Pakistan reserved its decision in a case challengeing amendments to the National Accountability law on Tuesday, with the chief justice saying he would announce the decision before leaving office..
A three-member bench including Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah heard the case. The petition was filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.
At the close of proceedings, Justice Bandial said that the court would soon announce a ‘short and sweet’ verdict. He also clarified that the decision would be announced before he retires.
The chief justice questioned if a law could be sent back to the parliament if the court found any problems in the law. He also asked what would happen to the law’s implementation in the meantime.
Justice Shah remarked that the court could consider the law itself if it found it to be a matter of fundamental rights. However, he asked which fundamental rights were being affected by the law.
Justice Ahsan replied that corruption in public property affects the fundamental rights of the country’s citizens.
Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris told that many cases that were pending under the NAB law had already been returned after the amendments were passed. He added that the Bureau had no powers to send the cases to another forum to complete inverstigation.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that special powere were not needed to send the cases to another forum. He said that if a murder was committed in NAB, the case would inevitably go to the appropriate forum.
However, Haris replied that so far, the amendments had only resulted in people being released.
The chief justice questioned why the law was being applied retrospectively. He said that the aim could be that person already sentenced for corruption could get his punishment revoked and regain his assets.
However, Justice Shah asked whether the parliament had the power to make legislations that could be applied to past decisions. He also questioned if the court had the power to tell parliament that a law had been made based on malice.