Thursday, August 18, 2022

The economy is on the verge of collapse, the court has to look at the public interest as well, Chief Justice

Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandyal has remarked in the case related to NAB amendments that good governance and accountability are among the fundamental rights, our economy is on the verge of collapse, the Supreme Court has to look at the public interest as well.

A 3-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice heard the petition of former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan against the NAB amendments.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice inquired whether any further amendments have been made in the NAB rules yesterday, to which the petitioner’s lawyer Khawaja Haris said that according to my information, further amendments have been made.

On this, Justice Ijazul Hassan said that Khawaja Haris should submit more details related to these amendments in the court, maybe earlier it was not about 50 crores but now it has been added? Are the amendments that have been made sent to the President for approval?

The Chief Justice said that we will give you more time in the hearing of this case, the court will get better support from the other side, submit detailed written materials in the court.

Lawyer Khawaja Haris said that NAB will also challenge the amendments to be made in the law tomorrow, these amendments are tantamount to usurping the important features of the constitution, the current amendments are a violation of the constitutional mandate.

Justice Ijazul Hasan said that the Islamic point of view must also be seen in this matter, would it not be appropriate if the NAB Prosecutor General gives arguments on this matter?

The petitioner’s lawyer said that the court can invalidate the constitutional amendment if it conflicts with the fundamental principles.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah inquired that the independent judiciary is included in the basic structure of the constitution, which authority of the judiciary was reduced by the NAB amendments, here the case is about the amendments introduced in the law.

Justice Ejazul Hassan said that accountability is a part of parliamentary democracy, he is of the opinion that the powers of accountability have been reduced by the NAB amendments.

The Chief Justice remarked that whether the case of assets in excess of income is necessary for accountability, people in small housing societies were arrested in the case of one or two plots, earlier every case went to the anti-terrorism court, the Supreme Court decided. Reduced the burden on the Anti-Terrorism Court.

During the hearing, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that authorized officers used to be arrested when a plan failed, if arrests continue in the same way, which officer will make a decision for the country, after the NAB amendments, arrests cannot be made for decision-making.

He said that no crime has been eliminated by the NAB amendments, the amendments do not appear to be affected by any constitutional provision, according to you, the NAB amendments are against a part of the basic structure of the constitution i.e. accountability, from the point of view of being the basic structure of the constitution. Disagree.

The Chief Justice said that good governance and accountability are fundamental rights, elections are a means of accountability itself, elections are a political accountability where voters hold their representatives accountable, there will be no rush to decide the case. .

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