SC orders Govt to bring new ordinance in three months on NAB plea bargain

ISLAMABAD :    The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the government three months to bring a new National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) while hearing a suo motu case concerning the voluntary return of misappropriated funds in graft cases.
The government overhauled the accountability law known as the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, last month through a presidential ordinance, bringing momentous alterations in powers of the accountability watchdog.
An application was filed with the apex court against the amendment to immediately order its suspension while terming it the violation of Article 25 of the Constitution and an attempt to protect corruption.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed ordered the government to not prolong the matter, or otherwise, the top court would itself give ruling in the case upon expiry of three months.
“The Supreme Court has [already] restricted the NAB from [using] plea bargain,” he said, adding that until legislation in the parliament the plea bargain power could not be used by the authority.
The top judge further observed that it was responsibility of the parliament to perform amendment in the NAB law.
“If any of the NAB provisions is termed “unconstitutional”, the NAB will not stay functional,” he mentioned, while asking does the government wanted the court to order suspension of the NAB ordinance?
The court further pointed out that the NAB (Amendment) Ordinance has paralysed the functionality of the accountability watchdog while there were cases pending for even 10 years with the bureau.

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