NAB tweaks do not 'abridge' fundamentals of Constitution, SC told.

ISLAMABAD -- The changes to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) have not 'abridged' the fundamentals of the Constitution or eroded the 'concept of public trust and accountability', said Makhdoom Ali Khan, counsel representing the federal government in a petition against NAB amendments.

The counsel was arguing before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial that had taken up challenges to the Aug 2022 amendments to the NAB law by former prime minister Imran Khan.

Makhdoom Ali Khan emphasised that when the parliament legislates a law to be applied with retrospective effect then it also reserves the right to repeal the same law.

He added right from the Ehtesab (Amendment) Ordinance of 1998 to NAO of 1999, all of these laws have been applied with retrospective effect.

Citing a book authored by Islamic scholar Muhammad Hashim Kamali called 'Islamic Jurisprudence', the counsel argued that a concept of Islamic jurisprudence was emerging which described that what happens in parliament through debates was a kind of 'Ijma' (consensus) and 'Ijtihad' (independent reasoning by an expert).

Justice Mansoor asks whether a law should be examined on basis of 'constitutionality' or 'morality'

He added the scholar also emphasised that one should never read Islamic concepts narrowly when interpreting things, especially when no specific command was available in Islam and the Holy Quran.

During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan wondered that when the Islamic laws prescribe capital punishment, could Pakistan, being an Islamic state, abolish the death penalty? The concept of accountability essentially has its roots in Islamic jurisprudence, he added.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, however, observed that what bothers him about the approach to judicial review was whether a judge should examine the validity of the law in light of its constitutionality and on the touchstone of the fundamental rights or on the basis of morality and religion, especially if the judge hails from a different...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT