ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday sent back references against politicians to accountability courts after Supreme Court struck down some sections of the amend-ments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) last year.
Sources told ARY News that the accountability watchdog held an ‘emergency meeting’ after the Su-preme Court’s (SC) verdict on a petition filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan against the amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) last year by the previous coalition government.
During the meeting, sources claimed, the NAB submitted an application to send back the references against politicians to accountability courts. The application was submitted to accountability courts after approval of NAB Chairman.
Sources claimed that references against politicians – including former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former president Asif Zardari and former finance minister Ishaq Dar – will be submitted to accountability courts.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Supreme Court ordered restoration of corruption cases against public representatives as it struck down some sections of the amendments made to the country’s ac-countability laws last year by the previous coalition government.
In a majority 2-1 verdict, the top court approved Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s pe-tition challenging amendments made to the country’s accountability laws.
Former CJP Bandial and Justice Ahsan declared Imran’s plea to be maintainable while Justice Shah dis-agreed with the verdict.
Following the verdict, the references against some of the country’s political bigwigs will once again land in the accountability courts.
These include the Toshakhana reference against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Supremo Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, LNG reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, rental power refer-ence against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and assets beyond means case against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
In June 2022, the former premier had moved the apex court against amendments made to the Na-tional Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance under the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act 2022.
The NAB (Second Amendment) Bill 2021 states that NAB’s deputy chairman, to be appointed by the federal government, would become the acting chairman of the bureau following the completion of the tenure of the chairman.
The bill has also reduced the four-year term of the NAB chairman. After approval of the law, NAB will not be able to act on federal, provincial or local tax matters.
It has also set a three-year term for the judges of the accountability courts. Under the proposed law, it has been made binding upon NAB to ensure the availability of evidence against an accused prior to his or her arrest. –Agencies