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January 6, 2021

30 accountability courts to be notified shortly, SC informed

 
January 6, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government Tuesday informed the Supreme Court of Pakistan that establishment of 30 additional accountability courts in the country would be notified shortly.

A three-member bench of the Apex Court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard a case of delayed trials by accountability courts as well as a suo motu review petition on a court order in cases of grant of bail to co-accused. Additional Attorney General Sohail Mahmood submitted a fresh report stating that the Prime Minister had approved establishment of 120 additional accountability courts in phases.

The law officer submitted that in phase one, 30 additional accountability courts would be set up and for the purpose approval for expenses involved had already been taken up by the finance division.

Similarly, he said, the concurrences of the establishment division for the recruitment of staff for the courts have also been obtained and the posts of relevant staff would be advertised during the next week. The court expected that the 30 additional accountability courts would be set up within a month and directed that the secretary law should submit a compliance report in a month. During the hearing, the Chief Justice asked the law officer why a fresh report had been submitted on behalf of the acting law secretary.

Why the government has not yet appointed a permanent secretary, the CJP asked. The Chief Justice said the government must ensure that the law ministry was not run on an ad hoc basis, rather a permanent secretary should be appointed at the earliest so that the department functioned smoothly.

National Accountability Bureau Prosecutor General Syed Asghar Haider informed the court that in the Lakhra power plant corruption case, 18 witnesses had so far being examined and their cross-examination completed. He submitted that four more witness evidences would be concluded by tomorrow. He assured the court that the case would be decided in a month.

Meanwhile, a report was also submitted before the court on behalf of the Accountability Court Karachi. “We expect that the learned judge will conclude the case expeditiously,” the court observed. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until the second week of February.