Justice Deedar declared ineligible for NAB post

Published: March 23, 2011
Apex court orders immediate appointment of new chairman.

Apex court orders immediate appointment of new chairman.


The Supreme Court has declared Justice (retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah, Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), ineligible for the post and said his appointment violates the procedure defined in the law.

Justice Shah, a loyalist of the ruling PPP, was appointed by the president on October 7, 2010 and his appointment was notified the next day. But Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and Shahid Orakzai, a freelance journalist, challenged the appointment in the Supreme Court.

The apex court in a short order earlier this month declared Shah’s appointment illegal.

In a 33-page detailed judgment handed down on Tuesday, the court directed the government to appoint a new chairman of the bureau forthwith since Justice Shah’s selection is not recognised by the law. The slot of chairman NAB was technically vacant even though Justice Shah was in office.

The judgment says that the leader of the opposition and the chief justice of Pakistan cannot be excluded from the consultation process. “Section 6(b)(I) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 provides for appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau by the president in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition,” reads the order.

Attorney-General Maulvi Anwarul Haq has admitted that the appointment of chairman NAB does not fall within the discretionary powers of the president and for such appointment he has to act upon the advice of the prime minister in terms of Article 48(1) of the constitution.

“It is not disputed that before the appointment of the respondent as NAB chairman February 9, 2011 neither the president nor the prime minister had consulted the leader of the opposition in any manner whatsoever and, thus, a mandatory requirement in that regard had remained unfulfilled,” reads the order.

The judgment authored by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that Justice (retd) Shah’s reappointment was made on the wrong advice of the law ministry. The appointment was challenged by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and Shahid Orakzai, a freelance journalist.

The court also ordered that the prosecutor-general NAB be appointed without further delay as the bureau has been functioning without the prosecutor-general for six months.

The court ruled that because of his two appointments as chairman NAB, Justice (retd) Shah now stands disqualified for the office. His appointment is ultra vires section 6(b)(i) of the NAB Ordinance and through such illegal appointment the fundamental rights of the people of this country are adversely affected.

The court also declared that assumption of the office of acting chairman NAB by a deputy chairman at a time when the office of chairman was vacant was illegal. “… assumption of the office of acting chairman NAB by Javed Qazi, deputy chairman, is illegal and it is, therefore, directed that a regular appointment to the vacant office of chairman NAB be made in terms of section 6 of the NAB ordinance,” reads the judgment.

President Zardari had written letters to both the prime minister and the opposition leader seeking their opinion on reappointing Justice Shah in what appeared to be an attempt to fulfill his legal obligation to ‘consult’ the two men on the issue.

Opposition leader Khan responded to the letter on Monday. He apparently rejected Justice Shah’s proposed appointment saying that he had ties with the PPP. NAB chairman should be bipartisan, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 22, 2011 - 1:58PM

    “Deedar can not be reappointed as NAB chairman” —— because Iftikhar does not like him?Recommend

  • Asif Amin
    Mar 22, 2011 - 2:39PM

    Very wise and fair decision made by the supreme court of Pakistan. Pakistan needs that type of verdict in order to eliminate corruption from government departments. Recommend

  • Muslim
    Mar 22, 2011 - 2:55PM

    No because the PM washed his hands from the appointment and said it was the president. It should be the other way round. Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 22, 2011 - 2:55PM

    @Uza Syed:
    There is a Constitution in the country that the PPP has decided to violate. Why? Because it constrains them and their sycophants from looting the State. Have you noticed that every case that the SC has been pursuing is one of illicit criminal gains, from Swiss Cases to all FIA cases under investigations. To the extent that FIA appointed officials, Law Ministry and others acting on their behalf should have been charged with obstruction of justice and racketeering offenses. Under any prevailing law (UK, US, German) most of these people would already have been behind bars. Yet, you seem to applaud illegalities and criminal behaviour of looting the Treasury. You mock the Constitution by your comment. I hope that the Registrar of the Supreme Court notices it and issues you a citation of contempt so you can explain to the SC why you are intent in violating the law. This is not a freedom of speech issue. Recommend

  • Wollstonecraft
    Mar 22, 2011 - 3:11PM

    33 pages? Are you serious? What a waste of time & resource. Pakistani love to blacken paper with useless scriptures.Recommend

  • Raza
    Mar 22, 2011 - 3:13PM

    @Uza Syed:
    actually PMLN does not like him therefore Ch sahib dislikes him.Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Mar 22, 2011 - 3:23PM

    Does the Govt. not understand the simple language!!! Such retard behavior on part of the Govt, shows their moral Character. NO means NO simple.Recommend

  • Shahzad Khan
    Mar 22, 2011 - 3:36PM

    According to SC & CJ particularly “Ramday or Khawaja Sharif are the only suitable candidates for the said post”.Recommend

  • The Patriot
    Mar 22, 2011 - 3:49PM

    @ Uza Syed …..you sound like a PPPiet….he cannot be appointed because he has political background ….simple as that…..and even if supreme court has given the verdict and you think its not what you want….do u have any choice but to follow it ?
    When the verdict of death is given to people ….do they like it ? but they end up loosing their life as they have to follow it ….in light of law of the land …..Recommend

  • Fayaz Shah
    Mar 22, 2011 - 4:10PM

    @ Asif: why are you of opinion that any verdict against government is a wise decision. there is nothing about the wisdom in the judiciary, they have to follow-up constitution. sometimes which needs clearification and therefore previous cases of same types are referred in the process.Recommend

  • Fayaz Shah
    Mar 22, 2011 - 4:21PM

    Dear Patriot, i do not belong to any political party and you might not believe that i never casted my vote in my life. but in the case of Deedar, i like him personally, he is the man of word. having affiliation with any political party does not mean a criminal record against you so that you could not hold any public office, keeping in mind that our all top executive positions are based on political parties system, that is called the democracy. By the way, he also was a justice in SC.
    you may check with anyone who belongs to the area deedar hails, almost all of them might be giving positive comments about his correcter and deed. isn’t that we are looking the type of individual who could hold the position of NAB chairman.
    I mean no offence please… just my personal point of myRecommend

  • Asif Butt
    Mar 22, 2011 - 4:36PM


    No.Dont call our legislative outputs waste of time & resource. And what do you mean when u say PAKISTANI love to blacken paper with useless scriptures ?

    Mind your language AND your TONE ( whoever the hell you are )Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 22, 2011 - 4:51PM

    @The Patriot: No, I’m not a ‘pppite’ but still loathe this arrangement between Nawaz and all the organs of Pakistani State. Frankly, I’m looking forward to the ‘good news’ from that hospital in London and wish a safe journey onward. This will be our liberation eventually from tyranies of all sorts, finally.

    Your reference to the verdict of death sentence is interesting —– yes, some must follow the law to gallows but ——- some very wealthy ones escape to their worldly master and land in Jeddah and consume lot of Pai and Lassi and Halwa and ——- plan to fall on us like a curse from heavens.

    @Raza: PMLN —- what’s that? You mean the biggest chaudhry of all Nawaz Mian doesn’t like him and obviously his will be done, since we, the whole damn country, are part of his family’s foundry. This has to happen when you have a so called free judiciary, free to take instructions from their masters, I guess.Recommend

  • MI
    Mar 22, 2011 - 5:18PM

    SC will do whatever suits to PMLN.Recommend

  • Viqar ul Haq
    Mar 22, 2011 - 5:20PM

    Strange our worthy readers criticize a SC verdict. It is our national duty to uphold the judicial decisions. No SC decision is partisan. SC is not a political party or consists of biased judges. We must accept and respect the SC rulings and the justices. Any partiality by the readers must be discouraged. The steps taken by the government have been exposed and the jiyalas feel offended. It should not be allowed. Recommend

  • Ammar
    Mar 22, 2011 - 5:31PM

    @Mulla Toofhan:

    Yes you are right, No Means NO! :)Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 22, 2011 - 5:32PM

    @Viqar ul Haq: “…………….. SC is not a political party……. ” ——- No, it’s not a political party —— it’s just judicial wing of a political party which is sole property of some foundry owners from Raiwind. Recommend

  • Janti
    Mar 22, 2011 - 6:14PM

    Well, if these are responses from our ‘educated’ people then it is small wonder the mess we are in. We are moving away from independent judiciary to a judiciary which sets directions in writing up constitution (read 19th Amendment), enforcing its own executive appointments (FIA appointments on NICL cases and sacking of its boss rightly/wrongly, its own judges appointments etc) and wants to take credit for anything good under the sun in Pakistan and happy to discredit the government at any given moment in the name of constitution (Government plays foolishly vital role in causing most of situations in the first place).

    It could have been empathetic towards the political government and would have guided them towards the rule of law(it is hard task yet could be accomplished), however it chose the high moral ground (while most of its senior judges are twice PCOed) and call the rest of people sinners and fixing all responsibilities on the politicians, while absolving themselves and the generals for the mess they had created, in cahoot, for last 60 years.

    Now we have sham religion-based political parties, with the help of sham religion-orientated anchors, with the firm backing from GHQ and sham religiously motivated judges blame everything on those electable politicians who are far less corrupt than all mentioned classes. Read your history palsRecommend

  • The Patriot
    Mar 22, 2011 - 6:42PM

    @ Uzza , you sound nothing but totally a anti PUNJABI fanatic , why you want to use words like Halwa puri and lassi why not Biryani , Sajji…………why in your hatered its always Punjab….grow up if ur educated ….else be what you are……
    If all is well with this govt why is your country going down the drain in every aspect……..
    If for instance you want us PAINDUS to love this man …………can you give us reasons why……Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 22, 2011 - 7:27PM

    @The Patriot: Oh! I’m sorry —– I honestly, sincerely, truly did not realize that some food items like “halwa” and “lassi” also have some ethnic affiliation and my reference to them would make me an “anti PUNJABI fanatic”. By the way, I love eating “halwa” and “Biryani” and “Sajji” and glass of “lassi” on top of that —– and once done with all these goodies —— I wonder what category do I fall into —– still “anti PUNJABI” or a little less? In any event I hate the kind of “PAINDU” mind set that you seem to be endowed with. Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2011 - 8:01PM

    Reappointment of NAP chairman through law minister
    as well as of the same person disqualified by the apex court?????????

    What they are doing,not understand able.Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2011 - 8:06PM

    sorry NAB chairman.Recommend

  • Razi
    Mar 22, 2011 - 9:29PM

    “”“halwa” and “Biryani” and “Sajji” and glass of “lassi” on top of that””…WOW!!! That’s a lot of calories right there! :)

    And we are still debating the appointment of the NAB Chief while another half dozen or so people are killed by heartless/mindless fellow countrymen.Recommend

  • Asif Amin
    Mar 22, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Why government set strike for Deedar ?????? Because government wants to appoint its own choice chairman in order to do more corruption and close its high profile corruption cases. Nation must be grateful to present supreme court and its judiciary. Recommend

  • Wollstonecraft
    Mar 22, 2011 - 11:48PM

    @Asif Butt: The truth is always bitter and painful. With numerous outstanding cases, pending justice and much bigger & more important issues to resolve, the judiciary is filling 33 pages of what? No, you can’t have this post (at NAB) because of the following reasons…….. I mean how much are you going to elaborate? 33 pages? Lots and lots of wishy-washy stuff that will make little or no sense. The worst part is, regardless of the judicial outcome, the ultimate decision will be a political one. Careful what you say Asif Butt.Recommend

  • Asif Butt
    Mar 23, 2011 - 1:42AM


    You are the one with the BIG MOUTH. You still havent clarified what u meant by saying “PAKISTANIS”.
    And you still sound personally irritated by legislative conventions.

    So youre the one who should be careful , whoever or whatever you are.Recommend

  • Wollstonecraft
    Mar 23, 2011 - 10:11AM

    @Asif Butt: By Pakistani I mean “you” and there is no need to get agitated. Did someone not teach you tolerance (a topic for discussion for another time)? No, I am not irritated by legislative conventions if they yield results but filling out 33 pages is 32 pages more than what normal legislative conventions require, especially in a resource strapped country. The judiciary really should put their time to good use instead of using copious amounts of ink on simplistic matters.Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2011 - 11:34AM

    A decision made by SCP is commendable. At least Pakistan should have one institution which would dare to pass such dare decisions.

    A Job Well Done…Recommend

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