KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday sought a report from the federal ministry of law and justice about approval of the draft of the National Accountability Rules.

When a two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro took up a petition seeking formation of rules under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999 for hearing, a prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a statement along with some documents.

It was submitted in the statement that in January the NAB headquarters had written a letter to the law & justice secretary along with amended draft of the rules.

NAB counsel further maintained that the law division had made certain observations and the same were amended accordingly and a modified draft of the National Accountability Rules was sent to the law division keeping in view the wisdom of Section 34 of the NAB law for its approval through the presidency. However, NAB argued that the draft of the NAB rules was still under scrutiny at the ministry of law & justice.

SHC also issues notices on a plea against shifting of Uzair Baloch to Mitha Ram Hostel

The petitioner pointed out that NAB had filed almost a similar statement on a previous hearing.

The bench asked a federal law officer and the NAB prosecutor as to when would these rules be notified and also sought a reply from the ministry of law & justice.

The bench adjourned the hearing till Sept 29 after a deputy attorney general requested for time to submit relevant report by the law ministry showing as to what progress had been made on the letter of NAB and whether or not the draft rules were submitted to the president for approval.

A lawyer had moved the SHC last year submitting that the NAB Ordinance was promulgated in 1999 and despite the passage of over 20 years its rules, as required under Section 34 to carry out the purposes of the ordinance, had not been framed.

The petitioner further submitted that neither NAB had framed the rules nor were the same notified in the official gazette for public information.

Uzair’s mother plea

Another SHC division bench on Tuesday issued notices to the provincial and federal authorities on a plea against shifting of chief of outlawed Peoples Amn Committee Uzair Baloch from prison to a Rangers’ facility.

Uzair’s mother had moved the SHC challenging a June 9, 2020 notification about the shifting of the alleged Lyari gangster from the Karachi central prison to the Rangers-controlled Mitha Ram Hostel by declaring it a sub-jail.

The bench headed by Justice K.K. Agha issued notices to the respondents, Sindh advocate general, prosecutor general and the deputy attorney general.

Rangers had claimed to have picked up the PAC chief, who is facing multiple cases including murder of his arch-rival Arshad Pappu, and handed him over to police following his mysterious arrest in January 2016.

He has already been acquitted in a number of criminal cases registered against him since a military court had sentenced him to 12 years in prison for his involvement in espionage and working for foreign intelligence agencies.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021

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