Appointment of NAB chairman part of govt-opp deal, SC told


ISLAMABAD: Hamid Khan, counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, has said that the appointment of Major (r) Qamar Zaman Chaudhary as National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman was the result of an “underhanded deal” between the government and the opposition and was based on bad intentions as Chaudhry was appointed NAB chief even before his retirement from active service.
Hamid Khan also concluded his arguments before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk that heard the petitions filed by the PTI chief and others, assailing the appointment of NAB chairman. Hamid Khan further said that “no meaningful consultation” was made in the appointment of NAB chairman.
In response to Hamid Khan’s arguments, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for the opposition leader in the National Assembly (NA), submitted that Major (r) Chaudhary was not a government servant when he was appointed NAB chairman.
About Hamid Khan’s objection that “no meaningful consultation was made with opposition parties”, Aitzaz said that there was no need to consult Imran Khan as he was not a leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and that according to the law, the prime minister was only bound to consult with the opposition leader instead of all opposition parties.
Khawaja Haris said that a contempt of court case against the NAB chairman was still pending. 
Hamid Khan said that it was highly unfortunate that the NAB chairman was interrogated itself by the bureau and was issued a clean chit.
Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani observed that billions of rupees were plundered in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam and that neither the money could be recovered nor the culprits arrested or convicted.
Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk observed that all opposition parties should be consulted in the appointment of NAB chairman. However, he added, the said chairman was appointed after the Supreme Court verdict. The judge also questioned the impact of the petitions upon apex court’s earlier verdict. The judge also remarked that the petitioners were challenging the mode of appointment. The bench also observed that consultations made in this appointment were based on mala fide intensions. 
Hamid Khan said that facts of this case pointed out that the matter was not so simple and that consultation with the chief justice was also mandatory. 
“It was binding on the president to make consultation with the chief justice of Pakistan,” he elaborated.

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