ISLAMABAD: The Sindh National Accountability Repeal Act 2017 has been challenged in the Supreme Court after a lawyer from Sindh filed a petition on Thursday.
Nisar Ahmad advocate, also from Sindh, filed a constitutional petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, naming federal and Sindh governments, speaker of the Sindh Assembly and secretary law as respondents.
According to the petitioner, the Act will curtail NAB’s jurisdiction in matters relating to provincial departments, which also encroached upon parliament’s legislative competence.
The petitioner requested the apex court to declare Sindh’s move to repeal the Accountability Act illegal, unconstitutional and ultra vires of the Constitution and restrain the provincial government from implementing this law.
The Act, the petition stated, was simply aimed at “protecting a specific strata of populace”.
It contended that the Act was promulgated to serve the ‘political need’ of a particular political group, amounting to grave abuse of powers by the provincial legislature.
The provincial legislature, it stated, was not competent to promulgate a law which was repugnant to a federal law competently promulgated by Parliament.
Similarly, the Act was a clear violation of Articles 2A, 4, 8, 137, 142 (b) and 143 of the Constitution, the petitioner stated.
It contended that offences relating to corruption and corrupt practices and measures to combat corruption formed part of the criminal law for the purposes of Article 142 (b) of the Constitution.
The petition stated that the law was aimed at benefiting a group of people and the Act was against principles of public policy and fundamental rights of citizens.
This Act, it stated, “offends Article 137 of the Constitution, which has made executive authority of the province subject to and limited by the executive authority expressly conferred by the Constitution or by a law made by the parliament upon the federal government or authorities.”
“Since the ruling party (PPP) outnumbers other parties, therefore, democracy in Sindh has practically become a mob rule, which is introducing legislative competence and Act 2017 is proof of the same.”