ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared the National Accountability (Amendment) Act, 2022 null and void, restoring the corruption cases against public office holders.
A three-member bench of the Apex Court headed by the Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah had reserved the verdict on September 05, 2023.
It was a 2-1 majority decision as Justice Mansoor Ali Shah dissented the verdict.
While admitting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s plea challenging the amendments made to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, the Court ordered to restore the corruption cases against public office holders that were withdrawn after amendments were made to the Country’s accountability laws.
In its verdict announced on Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that not just the corruption cases but also the inquiries and investigations be restored.
The Apex Court also declared some amendments to the accountability laws to be contrary to the Constitution – including one which limited the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) jurisdiction to cases involving over Rs 500 million and one which allowed the accused to claim the amount of plea bargain deposited after being acquitted.
The Court also declared the verdicts issued by the Accountability Courts in light of the amendments made to the laws were declared null and void.
It directed the NAB to send the record to the relevant Courts within seven days.