LAHORE ': Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday moved to form a full bench to hear the petition against the conviction of the Sharif family in the Avenfield reference.
The petition was filed by the Lawyers’ Foundation for Justice through Advocate A K Dogar.
In the petition, Advocate Dogar questioned the validity of the NAB Ordinance of 1999 and the courts functioning under this law.
He said that the NAB court which convicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had no jurisdiction to decide the matter because the law under which it had been functioning had lapsed a long time ago.
Requesting the court to suspend the accountability court’s decision, he contended that the court had been functioning under a non-extant law.
According to him, former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf had promulgated the NAB ordinance with the sole objective of targeting politicians.
Reminding that the NAB law had been formulated just a month after Musharraf staged a coup in October 1998, the lawyer argued that under Article 270-AA of the Constitution through the 18th Amendment, the PCO No1 of 1999 had been declared without lawful authority and of no legal effect.
He pointed out that the NAB ordinance of 1999 contends that the ordinance was promulgated by then military dictator Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) No9 of 1999.
Order No.9, he said, had been promulgated to amend PCO No.1 of 1999, inserting Section 5A(1). He reminded that any ordinance promulgated by the president would not be applicable beyond a 120-day limitation prescribed under Article 89 of the Constitution.
The lawyer contended that as the PCO No.1 had been declared without lawful authority and of no legal effect, the amendments in it made under order No9 of 1999 should also have lapsed after the statutory limitation period of 120 days prescribed under Article 89.
Certain laws, he said, which were still enforced, would continue to remain enforced unless amended by the competent legislative authority under Sub-Article 2 of Article 270-AA of the Constitution.
Contending that as the NAB ordinance had ceased to be a valid law, he requested the court to set aside all proceedings being carried out by the NAB courts under what he termed a dead law.