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Saturday June 15, 2024

Rights affected by corruption in public assets, SC told

The top court was told that the properties of public office holders belong to the public, and that corruption in public properties directly affects the fundamental rights of the public

By Our Correspondent
December 08, 2022
The Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. The SC website.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. The SC website. 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) was told on Wednesday that the properties of public office holders belong to the public, so the fundamental rights of the public are directly affected by corruption in public properties.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsen and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, heard a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan challenging the amendments made by the government to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

Khwaja Haris, counsel for Imran, while continuing his arguments submitted before the court that as per Shariah, in order to maintain the public confidence, accountability of public office holders was very much necessary

“When rulers hide their acts the public confidence is shaken,” the counsel stated, adding that under the amendments made to the accountability law if someone gives benefits of billions to any third party, it’s not considered an offence after amendments made to NAB law.

He submitted that the properties of public office holders belong to public and when corruption is made in these properties the fundamental rights of the public directly affected.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah asked the counsel as per his arguments, the Parliament that approved the NAB amendments has shattered the public confidence.

“In this way then the parliamentarians who approved the NAB amendments should be disqualified as prescribed in the Constitution”, the judge remarked.

Meanwhile, adjourned the hearing, the chief justice asked the counsel for the PTI chairman to conclude his arguments by today (Thursday).