Following the Supreme Court’s verdict in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law amendments case, around 2,000 graft cases — including those at the reference, complaint verification, inquiry, and investigation level — are expected to be restored, The News reported Saturday. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by outgoing Chief Justice Umar Bandia, with a 2-1 majority, struck down some of the amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 by the previous coalition government, declaring it against the rights pertaining to public interest enshrined in the Constitution. Former prime minister Imran Khan had challenged the changes made to the accountability laws. After the apex court ruling, a number of cases are expected to be restored, including those against former president Asif Ali Zardari, six former prime ministers — Nawaz Sharif, Shaukat Aziz, Yousuf Raza Gillani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif — and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
After the Supreme Court's decision on the amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law, it is expected that approximately 2,000 corruption cases, including those at various stages like reference, complaint verification, inquiry, and investigation, will be reinstated.
In a majority 2-1 verdict, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, led by outgoing Chief Justice Umar Bandial, invalidated certain changes made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 by the previous coalition government. The court deemed these changes to be against the public interest rights outlined in the Constitution.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan had challenged these amendments to the accountability laws.
As a result of the Supreme Court's ruling, a significant number of cases are anticipated to be reinstated, including those involving former President Asif Ali Zardari, six former prime ministers (Nawaz Sharif, Shaukat Aziz, Yousuf Raza Gillani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Shehbaz Sharif), and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The Toshakhana references against Zardari, Nawaz, and Gillani are among the cases to be reopened. Additionally, LNG references were restored against Abbasi, and the rental power reference against Ashraf. These references had previously been transferred from the accountability court.
Out of the 2,000 cases set to be reinstated, sources indicate that 755 cases were at the inquiry stage, 292 at the investigation stage, about 510 cases involved amounts less than Rs500 million, and 168 cases were related to assets exceeding known sources of income. Furthermore, 213 cases are restored under Section 9A, and 89 cases pertain to fraud.
The NAB is currently awaiting the detailed judgment, and its prosecution branch is compiling the data for submission to the chairman.
It's worth noting that there is currently a vacancy in the NAB prosecution branch following the resignation of Justice (retd) Syed Asghar Haider as prosecutor general accountability. His successor has not been named yet.
Additionally, sources indicate that NAB Balochistan had previously recommended the closure of an inquiry against Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar due to insufficient evidence. They had sought formal approval for closing the inquiry from the NAB headquarters.
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