ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has observed that its function is to look into legal and constitutional matters but the country’s top graft buster – the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) – still brings corruption cases to this highest legal forum for adjudication.
“The SC is supposed to look into legal matters but the NAB is still bringing fraud cases to this forum. It is unfortunate that since 1947 we have not been able to devise a system to check corruption,” said the Supreme Court judge Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday.
Justice Bandial was heading a division bench – also comprising Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed –hearing a NAB plea against acquittal of two Utility Stores Corporation (USC) officials in a graft case.
NAB had filed reference against Ziaullah and Masood Alam for their alleged corruption but both the trial court and the Sindh High Court (SHC) acquitted them.
Appearing before the bench, the counsel for the accused said his clients had been exonerated.
He said the sad part about the NAB application was that the copies of the SHC verdict attached it were unauthorized. “The SHC registrar has said NAB made no request for a copy of its decision. NAB has also confirmed that the copies are fake,” he said.
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NAB counsel said Section 32 of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 (NAO) – the law that governs the accountability watchdog – required modification. “The government was asked to amend Section 32 in the Asfandyar Wali case. It was about time, the government amended the provision,” he said.
He said the bureau had submitted all other records and now its record-based application should be numbered.
Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed said in this country all sort of NAB record disappeared or catches fire and nobody can later discover it. The court, however, later issued order to number the NAB petition as it adjourned hearing of the case for an indefinite period.
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