NAB chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the appointment of Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari to the position of chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as void.

The ruling was issued by a five-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani.

The court ruled that Bokhari's appointment to the post was unconstitutional and unlawful, adding that it was in violation with Section 6 of the NAB Ordinance.

The ruling moreover directed the federal government to appointment a new chairman of the bureau.

The court was ruling on a petition challenging the appointment and filed in 2011 by PML-N member and former opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The petition

The petition filed in October 2011 had stated: “It is respectfully prayed that the appointment of Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari as chairman NAB may kindly be declared void ab initio (illegal from the beginning) not having been made by the President in consultation with the Leader of the House (prime minister) and Leader of the Opposition nor the Chief Justice of Pakistan.”

It was alleged that Bokhari’s appointment was tainted with personal motivation on part of President Asif Ali Zardari.

President Zardari had appointed Admiral Bokhari NAB chairman on October 16, 2011.

The petition had insisted that President Zardari was not qualified to exercise power or perform function to appoint NAB chairman when he himself was an accused in more than a dozen cases of alleged corruption.

It had moreover stressed that in the appointment of NAB chairman, it was imperative to consult the chief justice to ensure the neutrality and independence of the National Accountability Bureau.

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