Evidence in graft cases 'disappearing', apex court told.

ISLAMABAD -- The lawyer representing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ChairAman Imran Khan in the petition against amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to strike down the changes to avoid alleged tampering of evidence in corruption cases pending against the government members.During the hearing of the case by a three-member bench, PTI counsel Khawaja Haris made these remarks while responding to a suggestion made by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah who said the PTI could return to parliament and then undo the changes to the NAB law.At this, Mr Haris cited the case of PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari where despite a numAber of corruption cases agaAinst the ex-president, 'crAuAcial evidence highlighting corruption' allegedly started disappearing when the regime was changed in April.In at least three cases, the essential documents were purportedly missing as a result of all the accused being eventually acquitted by the high courts, the counsel claimed, adding that NAB officials expressed their helplessness that without the original documents they could not do anything.Justice Shah wonders whether court could 'keep parliament stunted' by discouraging changes to law'Will someone find out what happens, why the documents got disappeared and whether any FIR was lodged for the missing evidence,' the counsel wondered.The counsel then cited the example of incumbent FinaAnce Minister Ishaq Dar who could not have returned to Pakistan if Section 31 of the NAO had not been deleted. As per the repealed section, any absconder would be arrested the moment they set foot on the soil of the country, he added.'When regime changes, people facing corruption cases play havoc [on country] and by the time next government comes, everything [evidence] has already been lost,' the counsel regretted. He alleged even witnesses were killed.During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan obseArved that the main question was that could the nation 'afford a seesaw where the regime changes the entire legal system and then we see a flurry of acquittals with applications coming out every day and the people getting acquitted left, right and centre'. 'Is this the exercise of cleaning up the slate,' Justice Ahsan wondered.But Justice Shah observed that in a democratic system, when a new government...

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