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Supreme Court Is Hoping For Good News Ahead Pakistan’s World Cup Semifinal Match Against New Zealand

On Tuesday, the Pakistan Supreme Court (SC) expressed excitement about the upcoming dramatic T20 World Cup semi-final between Pakistan and New Zealand, and expressed a desire to “hear excellent news” from the Pakistan cricket side.

The chief justice made the off-topic remark when the Supreme Court was hearing a petition brought by Imran Khan, the PTI’s leader, protesting recent amendments to anti-graft laws. A three-judge panel comprised of Justice Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the appeal.

Toward the close of today’s session, government attorney Makhdoom Ali Khan mentioned Pakistan’s incredible run to the T20 World Cup semifinals.

He remarked that the team’s passage to the semifinals was nothing short of a miracle.

He requested that the next hearing be postponed until after the national cricket team’s World Cup match against New Zealand on Wednesday.

According to a Dawn.com reporter who was present in court, the CJP inquired about the match’s scheduling while grinning. If you say so, we’ll put up a screen outside the Supreme Court so you can watch the game, he joked.

However, the government counsel’s plea was dismissed when Imran’s attorney, Khwaja Haris, protested, claiming that enough time had already gone.

According to Justice Ahsan, Pakistan’s advancement to the semifinals was a “national miracle.”

As the conversation progressed, Justice Shah suggested that the court might observe the game as the attorney presented their case, which elicited laughter from the audience.

Let us hope for positive news tomorrow, remarked the chief justice.

NAB Modifications Are Being Discussed

Imran’s lawyer, Khwaja Haris, spoke earlier in the day about the PTI chairman’s lawsuit opposing the National Accountability Bureau’s most recent modifications (NAB).

Haris referred to a UN resolution against corruption that Pakistan has already accepted, and the most recent law modifications would be in violation of the resolution.

In this case, Justice Shah inquired whether legislation passed by the parliament might be thwarted by a global resolution, and whether not permitting the parliament to make laws could jeopardize fundamental rights.

Justice Ahsan also questioned why bias was displayed in accordance with the new NAB legislation without any rationale, and whether anyone would stop it if authorization to accept bribes was granted tomorrow.

The judge went on to say that it was not illegal for a third party to profit from the new changes.

The hearing was then rescheduled for November 9 when the CJP highlighted that Haris’ comments implied that Pakistan was a “forest” without “rule of law.”

Imran’s Request

In his appeal, Imran Khan claimed that the modifications to the NAB law were intended to favour strong accused parties and legalize corruption.

President Dr. Arif Alvi did not accept the 27 important amendments to the NAO requested by the coalition government led by the PML-N, but the law was adopted and announced at a joint session of parliament.

According to the petition, the new modifications have the potential to dismiss corruption proceedings against the president, prime minister, chief ministers, and ministers, while also giving convicted public office holders the opportunity to have their sentences overturned.

According to the appeal, the NAO changes deprived Pakistani residents of access to the judicial system and the capacity to adequately examine their chosen representatives in circumstances of a breach of their obligation to the people of Pakistan.

According to the appeal, the concept “benamidar” has also been reinterpreted, making it more difficult for the prosecution to establish someone as the false owner of property.

The application also challenges the coalition government’s second amendment to the law, which was passed on August 16 and exempted offenses involving less than Rs500 million from its scope.

Those who left after being sentenced absentee under Section 31 of the ordinance were likewise expelled.

The majority of the changes, according to the petition, were “individually specific.”

The petitioner contended that requesting NAB details on all cases involving prominent and influential public officeholders, particularly those involving offenses of owning assets (movable and immovable) beyond known sources of income and abuse of authority, would be just and fair in protecting citizens’ constitutional and fundamental rights.

The petitioner was concerned that the recent revisions will preemptively exonerate people in public service or their accomplices from corruption charges.

According to the petition, the changes also violated articles 9, 14, 18, 24, and 25 of the Constitution, which safeguard citizens’ essential rights.

Changes To NAB Legislation

According to the NAB (Second Amendment) Bill 2021, when the chairman’s term expires, the deputy chairman of the NAB, who will be appointed by the federal government, would take over as acting chairman of the bureau.

The measure also changed the terms of the NAB prosecutor general and chairman, who previously served four-year terms, to three years. After the law is approved, NAB will not be able to take action on federal, provincial, or local tax issues, and regulatory organizations operating in the country will be excluded from NAB’s purview.

According to the relevant legislation, “all outstanding inquiries, investigations, trials, or processes under this ordinance, relating to people or transactions… “All relevant authorities, agencies, and courts must be relocated,” the law stipulates.

Additionally, it has established a three-year term for accountability court justices and would force the courts to reach a judgement in a case within a year. The proposed law requires the NAB to ensure that evidence against an accused person is available before the accused person is apprehended.

One of the main changes is that the statute “will be deemed to have taken effect on and from the start of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.”

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