Imran urges SC to dismiss govts’ appeals against verdict on amends in NAO 1999

ISLAMABAD   –  Former prime minister Imran Khan Niazi has prayed to the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeals of the federation and the provinces against the apex court judgment on amendments in National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999. The PTI founder Imran Khan Wednesday filed written submissions in Intra Court Appeals (ICAs), which have challenged the SC judgment dated 15 September 2023, wherein a three-member bench by majority verdict declared most provisions of the amendments made to the NAB Ordinance as unconstitutional.

He had initially challenged amendments made to the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999, invoking the jurisdiction of the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. The founder Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) asked Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa that in light of the Supreme Court judgment in ‘Action against Distribution of Development Funds to MNAs / MPAs by Prime Minister” (PLD 2021 SC 446) in order to uphold the principle of unbiasness and impartiality it would be in the interest of justice not to hear cases involving him.

He stated that the amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 represent an unprecedented and egregious example of legislative manipulation. There is no parallel anywhere in the world, not even in banana republics, where laws have been crafted specifically to absolve corrupt individuals of their wrongdoings. Those engaged in corrupt practices have exploited these person-specific amendments to shield their ill-gotten assets, using parliament as a tool for personal gain.

Imran added that while Parliament has the authority to enact any law, it must do so within the bounds of the Constitution. No legislation should contradict the spirit of the Constitution and justice, especially when it comes to laws addressing money laundering and other crimes. Such laws must be crafted with the highest degree of integrity, ensuring that no loopholes exist for those who have plundered the nation’s wealth. Lawmakers hold their power as a trust bestowed upon them by the people and they cannot betray this trust for personal or political gain. It is imperative that our legislative process does not provide sanctuary for those who have looted the nation’s resources. Laws must protect the interests of the people, not the corrupt elite who exploit their positions of power for personal gain.

He also said that corruption and legislative manipulations have severe economic repercussions. They erode investor confidence, hinder economic growth, and exacerbate poverty. The amendments to NAB Ordinance, designed to protect the corrupt, will have long-term detrimental effects on our economy, making it harder for honest businesses to thrive and for foreign investors to trust our legal system.

He continued that during the case proceedings, Justice Athar Minallah stated that the NAB amendments would benefit me personally as well, but my response was clear: this is not about personal gain but the greater good of our country and millions of Pakistanis who place their faith in a system that should serve them. The focus must always be on the collective benefit of our nation, rather than individual advantages. Throughout my political career, I have consistently taken a stand against corruption, even at great personal risk and sacrifice, including my current imprisonment. My life’s work and sacrifices have always been dedicated to the fight against corruption and the establishment of justice. He further said that a corruption-free Pakistan will attract investment, improve our economy, and uplift the standard of living for all. These amendments are not mere legal adjustments; they are calculated moves to protect the corrupt and to weaken our institutions. They threaten the very fabric of justice and democracy in our nation and must be struck down. The Supreme Court must not, with respect, turn a blind eye to the facts apparent to all and sundry.

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