Judges urged to trust parliament, politicians.

ISLAMABAD -- A senior lawyer defending amendments to the NAB law urged the Supreme Court on Wednesday to trust parliament and politicians since without trust there could be no politics which is the basis of democracy.

'Since the court is so strong on trust, it is time that judges also trust parliament and politicians, without which there can be no politics as it is the basis of democracy,' argued Makhdoom Ali Khan before a three-judge SC bench.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, who was heading the bench, however, observed that the court does trust parliament but the people of this country also trust the judges, adding that there are certain baselines for developing confidence which need to be followed where judges were also accountable.

The CJP made the observation during the hearing of a petition filed by former prime minister Imran Khan challenging the August 2022 amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).

CJP observes present amendment to NAB law seen as having diluted criteria of accountability

'There is a political controversy in the country and right after the partition in 1947, corruption emerges as an issue,' the CJP observed, recalling that petitioner's counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed had also highlighted during his arguments that corruption is an 'issue in our society'.

'Today again our society is divided,' Justice Bandial observed, reminding that at the start of the hearing in the present case, the government's counsel had accepted striking a balance between the interest of the people of the country and personal interests of individuals.

Question really arises to what extent the court could go to preserve and protect the Constitution and what criteria should the court adopt in this regard, CJP observed, emphasising that the Constitution means the people of Pakistan.

Since 1947, the CJP reminded, 'we have anti-corruption laws, which survived all these years and also enjoyed the acceptance of the people' - a law that requires the public-office holders to be responsible and accountable.

But it is said that the present amendment to the NAB law has relaxed or diluted the criteria of accountability, the CJP observed, asking what the court should do to save things beneficial for the progress of the country.

'These are the questions, though the court is not here to adjudge political or social issues,' he said, adding that the trust doctrine was accepted and has become the basis before becoming the office...

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