A three-member bench hears petitions challenging Deedar Shah’s selection.

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan no longer has any role in the appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the federation’s counsel, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, argued before the Supreme Court on Monday.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan and freelance journalist Shahid Orakzai, have challenged his appointment by President Asif Ali Zardari last October. Chaudhary Nisar has contended that Justice (Retd) Deedar Hussain Shah was appointed without consulting him or the chief justice which is mandatory for the NAB chairman’s appointment in his petition.

Pirzada submitted that the notification and summary of the PM’s advice was sent to the president for the chairman’s reappointment. A three-member bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, comprising Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed and Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heard the petitions challenging Deedar Shah’s appointment as chairman NAB.

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada argued that a case pertaining to his appointment was being heard by the Sindh High Court (SHC), therefore under Article 148 of the Constitution, the apex court should not entertain the petitions. “Should we wait for the SHC decision?” Justice Khosa enquired.

Counsel for Chaudhry Nisar, Akram Sheikh informed the court that two contradictory notices were issued regarding the NAB chairman’s appointment. After the withdrawal of the first notice, the NAB chief’s position was legally vacant. The court adjourned the case till March 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2011.


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