LHC constitutes bench to decide fate of NAB chairman

October 10, 2019

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National Accountability Bureau Chairman Javed Iqbal .— APP/File
National Accountability Bureau Chairman Javed Iqbal .— APP/File

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday constituted a larger bench to decide a petition against the appointment of Justice Javed Iqbal as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) as well as all actions taken by the bureau under his chairmanship.

LHC Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Khan constituted the bench, comprising Justice Qasim Khan, Justice Malik Shahzad and Justice Asjad Javed Gharal.

Advocate A.K. Dogar had filed the petition in March this year, seeking a high court order to quash the appointment of the NAB chairman and a reversal of all actions taken by the accountability watchdog during his tenure. The petitioner had contended that the chairman had been appointed in violations of the laws and the Constitution.

According to the petitioner, all actions taken by the bureau should therefore also be considered in violation of the law and so should be declared null and void.

The petitioner had also asked the court to reverse the sentence of incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as he was put in jail under NAB laws.

Justice Qasim Khan, after hearing arguments, had rejected the plea for the release of Nawaz Sharif on the grounds that the former premier's bail applications are already pending before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Justice Khan, however, had referred the matter of the NAB chairman's appointment to the LHC chief justice with a recommendation of constituting a larger bench to hear the case.

Meanwhile, the IHC accepted for hearing the bail application of Nawaz Sharif and directed the accountability watchdog to submit its reply to the petition within two weeks.