LHC larger bench to decide NAB chief’s fate


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday constituted a larger bench to take up a petition challenging the appointment of Justice (r) Javed Iqbal as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as well as all actions taken by the corruption watchdog under his chairmanship.

The bench, which is constituted and headed by LHC Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Khan, comprises Justice Qasim Khan, Justice Malik Shahzad and Justice Asjad Javed Gharal.

The petition, filed by Advocate AK Dogar in March this year, sought a high court order to quash the appointment of the NAB chairman and a reversal of all actions taken by the accountability watchdog under his chairmanship. The petitioner had contended that the Justice Iqbal appointed “in violation of the laws and the Constitution”.

According to the petitioner, all actions taken by the bureau should therefore also be considered in violation of the law and so should be declared null and void. He had also asked the court to reverse the sentence of incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as he was put in jail under NAB laws.

Justice Qasim Khan, after hearing arguments, had rejected the plea for the release of Nawaz Sharif on the grounds that the former premier’s bail applications are already pending before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

However, Justice Khan had referred the matter of the NAB chairman’s appointment to the LHC chief justice with a recommendation of constituting a larger bench to hear the case.

Meanwhile, the IHC accepted for hearing the bail application of Nawaz Sharif and directed the accountability watchdog to submit its reply to the petition within two weeks.