SC grants three months to govt for new NAB law

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday granted three months to the government for legislation in the Parliament about the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

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A bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Gulzar Ahmed, in suo moto hearing on plea bargain clause of the accountability law, hoped that a proper law governing the NAB, will be passed from the parliament.

The chief justice remarked that the government has clipped feathers of the NAB with the new accountability ordinance.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that the Supreme Court has already restrained the NAB from plea bargain adding that this clause of the law will not be exercised until the new legislation by the parliament.

Those who will return the corruption money (under the plea bargain) would have to face consequences, the chief justice warned.

The bench remarked that the Attorney General has told the court that Farooque H Naik has tabled an amendment bill in the NAB law in the parliament and the political parties are trying to reach to an agreement over the bill.

“If the matter won’t resolved in three months the court will decide according to the law and the merit,” the bench said.

The chief justice asked whether section 25-A (plea bargain clause) in the proposed law has been amended? “Is section 25-A has been expunged or amended in the bill,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked.

“My private member bill regarding the NAB Ordinance has been in the standing committee of the Senate,” Senator Naik informed the court. The bill will be referred to the house after approval from the Senate committee, Naik said. “The bill expunges the plea bargain clause from the law,” he added.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed observed that the government should not linger on the matter of fresh legislation about the NAB. “Isn’t it the duty of the Parliament to amend the NAB law?” the top judge questioned.

“If the Supreme Court declared clauses of the NAB law as unlawful, it will become dysfunctional, whether the government wants the court to set aside the NAB law,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned.

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