Former chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Fasih Bokhari filed a review petition on Friday against a Supreme Court ruling declaring his appointment null and void.
The plea was filed by Bokhari’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Latif Khan Khosa, after preliminary objections raised by the apex court’s registrar were cleared.
The registrar’s office had initially objected to the language used in the review petition terming it ‘inappropriate’. The office also sought attachment of the court’s detailed verdict and inclusion of referred resolutions of Pakistan Bar and Supreme Court Bar Association against the court’s July 31, 2009 judgment.
Khosa, also a former governor of Punjab, had argued in the review that the new dynamic was added in the judicial approach following the July 31, 2009, judgment of the 14-member bench declaring the appointment of judges unconstitutional through a judicial verdict.
Bokhari’s lawyer cited the case to argue that the removal of the chairman through a judicial verdict was not possible as the only way to remove the NAB chairman was by following the same procedure for the removal of a high court judge.
Khosa contended that the documents such as different press clippings criticising the court’s judgments should have been admitted as part of the review petition filed by Bokhari. He added that this had been done on numerous occasions earlier and should be followed now.
He argued that since the petition filed by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan against Bokhari’s appointment was admitted without the inclusion of the notification of NAB chairman’s appointment, his documents including the press clippings should be accepted by the court.
“The petitioner in his petition does not show any question of general public importance and his individual grievance was egoistic in nature of not being consulted the way he wanted”, he added.
Earlier on May 28, the court had observed that consultation over the appointment of NAB chairman had not been made in accordance with Section 6 of the NAB Ordinance, 1999 and the law set by the Supreme Court, declaring Bokhari’s appointment null and void.
He submitted that only the president held the power to remove the NAB chairman once he was appointed to this post. He added that it was clearly envisaged in the Constitution, that being appointed by the president either under the law and or constitution, Bokhari was not answerable to the Supreme Court.
Bokhari contended that the ruling of the court over his appointment was without lawful authority and was devoid of any legal or logical basis apart from being a clear-cut violation of Section 6 of the NAB Ordinance of 1999. Bokhari further added that there was no violation of any fundamental right in his appointment and therefore the court should have rejected the petition against him in the first place.
“The impugned order was therefore passed in a matter regarding which the court had no jurisdiction,” Bokhari submitted. He said there were apparent errors of law in the impugned order and the apex court was under a constitutional obligation to remove these errors at the earliest.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2013.
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