The Supreme Court struck down some sections on Friday of the amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 by the previous government, as it announced its reserved decision on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s plea challenging the amendments to the law.
The three-member bench, headed by CJP Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, held more than 50 hearings on PTI chief Khan’s petition against the amendments and reserved the judgment on the hearing on September 5.
In the majority verdict today, the Supreme Court restored graft cases against public office holders that were closed down following the amendments.
The apex court struck down some amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.
According to the verdict, the petition against NAB amendments was declared admissible by the majority decision, restoring all closed enquiries filed with the anti-graft body.
The apex court ordered restoring all graft cases worth less than Rs500 million that were closed down against the political leaders belonging to different political parties and public office holders and declared the amendments void.
Furthermore, the court directed the NAB to return all records related to cases to relevant courts within seven days.
The verdict on Khan’s appeal further added that the NAB amendments under question affected the rights of the public listed in the Constitution.
The verdict has some far-reaching consequences as the striking down of the amendments would mean that references against some of the country’s political bigwigs will once again land in the accountability courts.
These include the Toshakhana reference against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Supremo Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, along with the LNG reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the rental power reference against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
However, Justice Shah issued a dissenting note in the NAB amendments case