ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday examined the executive powers of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and asked the additional attorney general (AAG) to explain the legal position.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq was hearing the petitions of former chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) retired Justice Javed Iqbal and NAB’s Director General retired Major Saleem Shahzad against their summoning in the Tayyaba Gul harassment case.
The court also extended the restraining order issued against summoning of Mr Shahzad. Justice Farooq observed that issuing summons to a government official in a harassment case, advising the federal government to removing Justice Iqbal from his post of chairman commission of the inquiry on enforced disappearances are matters that pertain to the executive.
He cited judgements of the superior courts and opined that the PAC could only examine financial matters of the government.
AAG Barrister Munawar Duggal asked the court to refer this matter to the Parliament for reconsideration.
The IHC CJ remarked that the PAC’s decision of reinstating the sacked employees of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council was also contradictory to the judgements of the superior courts.
According to him, the Parliament is responsible for making legislation and the courts are there to interpret the law. He was of the view that the PAC should have sent the matter to the relevant forum if it had received a complaint. It may be mentioned that the complainant Tayyaba Gul submitted an application to the PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan, seeking inquiry against Justice Iqbal, Shahzad and other officials of the bureau for implicating her in a corruption reference.
In the application, Ms Gul said she was acquitted by the court in the reference. She accused NAB officials of blackmailing her and requested the PAC chairman to summon Justice Iqbal and other officials and initiate a probe against them.
Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2023
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