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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) on Monday disapproved a corruption reference against its former president Pir Masood Chishti, retired justice Riaz Kiyani and senior lawyer Babar Awan by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Adopting a resolution unanimously, a general house meeting of the bar demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar take action against all officials of the NAB involved in malicious campaign against lawyers, otherwise it would launch a countrywide movement against the anti-corruption watchdog.

Shahid Mehmood Bhatti, a former secretary of the bar, moved the resolution saying the NAB officials violated fundamental rights of citizens by filing instant references, which was unconstitutional and uncalled for.

It said the relevant NAB authorities committed criminal negligence and should be held accountable. It is the first NAB reference in Pakistan’s history wherein legal opinion of law ministry has been termed a crime.

The house asked the NAB to drop the reference against the lawyers and also urged the CJP to protect bar members from unconstitutional and illegal actions of the bureau.

The NAB had filed a reference against then federal law minister Babar Awan, then secretary law Pir Masood Chishti, then consultant of the law minister Kiyani and others for delaying Nandipur Power Project.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018