Nullification of NAB amendments will not affect Nawaz Sharif’s return: PML-N

Nullification of NAB amendments will not affect Nawaz Sharif’s return: PML-N

After the Supreme Court on Friday struck down several of the recent amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) rules, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has said that its leader Nawaz Sharif’s impeachment has been revoked by the court’s decision. The decision to return to Pakistan from London will not be affected.

A three-member special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandyal today delivered a safe verdict on the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan against the NAB amendments. The cases have been asked to be restored.

The bench, which included the Chief Justice along with Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, reserved its verdict on September 5 after over 50 hearings on the matter.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah wrote a dissenting note on this decision, meaning that the decision of the three-judge bench will be called a majority decision of two judges.

In its decision, the court also annulled the provision of corruption limit of Rs 50 crore for filing NAB reference, thereby restoring the cases of all persons sitting in public positions.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial had said that he would give a ‘sweet and short’ judgment before his retirement. Chief Justice Bandyal is retiring on September 16.

Nawaz Sharif’s return home not affected by Supreme Court decision: PML-N

Pakistan Muslim League-N’s senior leader and former Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Nawaz Sharif’s return home was not affected by the Supreme Court’s decision.

Speaking to journalists in Lahore on Friday, Rana Sanaullah said that Nawaz Sharif’s return date is final.

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He said that the date of October 21 has been announced by the party president Shehbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif will return to the country as a free citizen and get a security bond.

According to him: ‘A legal team is working to resolve Nawaz Sharif’s legal problems as he went abroad with the permission of the court and the then government.’

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Rana Sanaullah said that he was of the opinion that this ‘ruthless’ law of NAB should not be abolished so that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is using it against us, would also taste it.

He said that ‘We have suffered this law and now it is good for PTI and Imran Khan because now they will not even get bail and they will have to serve 90, 90 days remand.’

According to him: ‘There are 13 cases against Imran Khan, let him suffer the inquiries and enjoy it. Now let’s see how they get guarantees on a wholesale basis.’

Rana Sanaullah said that after the restoration of this law, PTI will no longer be able to say that they are being targeted for political revenge.

Former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the Supreme Court decision has revived the corruption cases against the former ruling junta.

However, he also said that ‘this case has highlighted the need for democracy because no political party believes that there is no need to amend the NAB law.’

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According to the former information minister: ‘Majority wants to bring transparency and impartiality in NAB cases. It should include live coverage of court cases and remand provisions.’

What was in the NAB amendment bill?

In June 2022, the former coalition government introduced 27 important amendments in the NAB Ordinance, but President Dr. Arif Alvi did not approve them.

Failing approval, the bill was passed in a joint session of Parliament and later notified. The amendment bill said that the deputy chairman of NAB, who will be appointed by the federal government, will become the acting chairman of the bureau after the completion of the chairman’s tenure. The term of the year was also reduced to three years.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Lahore-based senior journalist and analyst Imtiaz Alam called it a ‘cleansing process of corrupt politicians’.

According to the amendment, after the approval of the law, NAB will not be able to process federal, provincial or local tax matters, moreover, the regulatory bodies working in the country were also taken out of the scope of NAB.

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Under the amendment law, NAB has been mandated to ensure the availability of evidence against the accused before arresting him. According to an important amendment included in the Bill, the Act will be deemed to be in force from and after the commencement of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

Who benefited from NAB amendments?

In this case, the NAB had also presented the list of beneficiaries of the amendments made in the NAB Ordinance during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and PDM governments in the Supreme Court.

The report submitted by NAB to the Supreme Court stated that former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Zardari benefited from the recent NAB amendments.

According to the report, Asif Zardari’s close associate Anwar Majeed and his son are among the beneficiaries of the NAB amendments.

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