In response to the case filed by the former prime minister Imran Khan challenging the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law’s most recent revisions, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial ruled on Friday that lawmakers should not pass legislation that serves their own interests.
The CJP stated that the country was not through some ordinary times, but an “exceptional time”.
During today’s hearing, the former premier’s lawyer Khwaja Harris sought more time to submit written arguments. He said he could not submit them on time owing to him having contracted Covid-19.
According to Justice Ahsan, the government is attempting to have people’s “sins” pardoned by amending the NAB.
During the hearing, the CJP made it clear that the court would solely examine if any amendments were in violation of fundamental rights and would not get involved in political issues.
Furthermore, it was stated that the revisions would violate fundamental rights if they mocked the accountability process.
The majority of the amendments, the CJP said, have helped the accused, and the evidence offered by the plea bargainer has been declared inadmissible. He claimed that although there was no law against incarceration in the criminal court system, the issue of arrest depended on the type of offense that was committed.
In support of the federal government, Makhdoom Ali Khan said that even after an accused person’s innocence, their honor is not restored. He added that the higher courts frequently do not uphold NAB sanctions.
In his remarks, the CJP claimed that the nation was currently experiencing an exceptional circumstance as a result of 150 members of the previous ruling party abstaining from the assembly.
The top justice stated, “The PTI was ordered to play a part in the National Assembly, but half of their members are instead staging a boycott,” adding that the assembly members are legislating for their own personal gain.
He added that the court merely took suo motu action due to an intrusion in the inquiry process and did not wish to meddle with the legislative process. He continued by saying that the court was simply looking for records of high-profile cases to determine whether or not they were being heard.
All institutions that adhere to the Constitution will have the court’s support. Hearing cases under unusual circumstances gives the court no joy, he claimed.
Khan used the US Supreme Court as an example to support the administration’s position and claimed that court consistently supports the elected government. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah replied that perhaps the US Supreme Court’s approach was not appropriate in this situation.
Read more Senate approves NAB law amendments
The CJP added that a 90-day remand is not authorized anywhere in the world and that the supreme court has criticized the NAB rule in its rulings.
“Nowhere in the world are criminal cases on remand for more than 14 days. In Japan, 99 percent of people are found guilty, he claimed.
The case’s hearing was postponed until September 1.