Govt and NAB lock horns over appointment of prosecutor general

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–Law secretary tells SC President Mamnoon has rejected five names nominated by PM for NAB prosecutor general

–CJP asks law secretary to come up with suggestions to end deadlock between govt and NAB

 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) was informed on Monday that President Mamnoon Hussain has rejected the five nominees put forward by the prime minister for appointment as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor general, as the government and the accountability watchdog have locked horns over the issue.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had rejected a summary of five nominees that were sent by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal. The prime minister instead proposed three separate names for the vacant post which were then returned by the NAB chairman, citing constitutional technicalities that require the prosecutor general’s appointment to be made by the prime minister after consulting with the NAB chairman.

According to sources, the NAB chairman had suggested the names of Muddasir Khalid Abbasi, Shah Khawar, Syed Asghar Haider, Fasihul Mulk and Nasir Saeed Sheikh, while the prime minister had proposed the names of Waqar Hassan, Chaudhry Ramzan and Najeeb Faisal for the post.

The latest development extends the deadlock over the appointment of the prosecutor general after Waqas Qadeer Dar’s tenure ended in November.

On Monday, during the hearing of a suo motu case on non-functioning tribunals and special courts across the country, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked the federal law secretary to come up with suggestions so that the deadlock between the federal government and the bureau over the appointment of the new NAB prosecutor general can be resolved.

The law officer further apprised the court that after rejecting the five names, the president in return, recommended a panel of three names including Waqar Hassan Mir, Chaudhry Muhammad Ramzan and Najeeb Faisal Chaudhry for the slot of Prosecutor General NAB.

The CJP directed the secretary to submit his response in the next hearing on Wednesday, stating that if the government didn’t find a solution to the matter on its own, the judiciary will have to intervene.

Earlier on Friday, CJP Nisar,  during the hearing of the case pertaining to the appointment of the NAB prosecutor general, directed the government to appoint the new NAB prosecutor by Monday and submit a compliance report

The SC expressed displeasure over the federal government for dragging its feet to fill the vacant post of the NAB prosecutor general.

The bench asked the federal law secretary to come up with an explanation as to what efforts had been made to appoint the prosecutor general.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the NAB chairman had recommended five names for the slot to the government, it was incumbent on it to select a suitable, well reputed and efficient prosecutor from them.

The CJP was informed that the summary regarding the appointment of the bureau’s prosecutor will be sent to the president, which is expected to be approved by Tuesday.