Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Atta Bandial has remarked there should be balance in respect of fundamental human rights.
“ if there are rights of common citizen then on the other side there are national interest and rights of society. There should be balance among the two. The petitioner is linking the affording of benefit to an individual to rights of the society. How the NAB law is detrimental to the public interest. This question is very important. If the cases go to other forums then what will happen. We need assistance on it, he further remarked.
The petition filed by PTI chairman Imran Khan against amendment in NAB law came up for hearing before a 3-member bench of SC presided over by the CJP Umar Atta Bandial here Wednesday.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan raised the question during the hearing of the case has any been left to whom exemption has not been given from NAB law. The decisions of chairmen and vice chairmen of Tehsil councils have been exempted.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah inquired how can any decision be described wrong without proving financial benefit. Apparently the public office holders have been given liberty for decision making.
Khawaja Haris counsel for imran Khan told the court recovery of more than Rs 8 billion was made from such decision makers in the past.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked every government decision affords benefit to any one community. Was the recovery made from public office holders.
Khawaja Haris took the plea the recovery was made from those who had received money for public office holders. There is no harm unless the benefit afforded is illegal. Launching no action in the matter of affording illegal benefit to a specific officer is wrong. NAB can not lay hands on any regulatory authority and government company.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah inquired from Khawaja Haris whosoever escapes from new amendment in NAB law will get entangle in other law. It seems from your arguments that only NAB can conduct accountability. There are other institutions too for holding accountability.
Khawaja Haris told the court on the occasion that private persons have been excluded from crimes through amendment in NAB law.
CJP said to counsel for Imran Khan “ you are saying several crimes have been decriminalized through amendment in NAB law. You have no objections on the amendment that remand should be how much. How will be bail made. Crimes including the accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income have been excluded from ambit of NAB laws. Are there any other laws in place against these crimes. Correct income tax returns are not filed in country like Pakistan. Accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income is not enough. The involvement of corruption or dishonesty in accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income is necessary.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked the offence of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income is till there in NAB laws. Will the court review design of laws too. The court can attribute cleverness to the parliament how. Tomorrow some one comes and says in the court that the hanging should be the punishment for those who hold assets beyond known sources of income. There will be how much and upon whom the burden of proving crime. This debate should take place in the parliament and not in the court. According to NAB laws there is no exemption for judges. Why the armed forces have been kept out of ambit of NAB laws. All the big business are held by them., It is strange why PTI did not raise objection over keeping the army out of the reach of NAB laws.
Khawaja Haris said the amendments like remand and bail in NAB laws are good things. We have no objections over them. The offences of assets beyond known sources of income and misuse of powers were abolished from new amendments.
On being inquired by the court , Khawaja Haris told he will complete his arguments in next four hearings.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case till Monday.