KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) suspended on Monday the Sindh High Court's (SHC) order for the establishment of three additional accountability courts to expeditiously decide graft-related cases pending in Sindh.
A two-judge bench, comprising justices Mushir Alam and Sajjad Ali Shah, meanwhile directed the ministry of law and justice to furnish reports on the exact number and status of corruption cases pending before six accountability courts in the province.
The apex court observed that the final decision regarding the establishment of additional courts will be made subject to the status of pending cases.
These directives came on a petition filed by the federal government which had challenged the SHC's order to set up three more accountability courts in the province to expeditiously decide graft-related cases.
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A deputy attorney-general, who appeared on behalf of the ministry of law and justice, argued that six accountability courts were already working in Karachi and other cities. He maintained that there are a total 257 cases pending disposal before the existing courts, therefore, there was no need to establish additional courts.
Therefore, the court was pleaded to grant leave to appeal against the SHC's decision and suspend the same.
However, the judges directed the authorities concerned to furnish complete details of all the cases pending before the accountability courts. It ordered them to clearly mention the number of cases pending before each court, along with details of the status of each case and number of witnesses examined.
Adjourning the hearing, the bench meanwhile suspended the operation of the SHC's order till further orders.