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NAB chief, AG over appointment

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday summoned newly-appointed Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shah and Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq and directed the latter to assist it in finding whether NAB rules were bypassed in the appointment of Mr Shah.

“We feel inclined to issue notices to respondents to consider as to whether the appointment of NAB chairman was made in accordance with section 6 of the NAB Ordinance,” said Justice Javed Iqbal, the head of a three-judge bench hearing two identical petitions filed by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and journalist Shahid Orakzai against the appointment of Justice Deedar Shah as NAB chairman.

Other members of the bench are Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali. The federal government through law ministry, establishment secretary and the NAB chairman are respondents.

The court will determine whether the process of consultation laid down in the NAB ordinance and its ruling in the Asfandyar Wali case requiring chief justice’s input was followed in the appointment of NAB chief.

Since interpretation of a number of constitutional provisions is involved, the court asked the attorney general to assist it and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Advocate Mohammad Akram Sheikh, the counsel for Chaudhry Nisar, argued that the appointment of Justice Deedar Shah would affect the process of across-the-board accountability. He said the appointment made by President Asif Ali Zardari was tainted with personal motivation and susceptible to manifest abuse because the president was accused in more than a dozen cases of corruption within and outside the country. Thus this was a clear case of conflict of interest, he added.

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