ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed byJustice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani has declared the appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) admiral (retd) Fasih Hussain Bukhari as null and void here on Tuesday.
The court has ordered the federal government to appoint a new chairman NAB and follow the legal procedure. The court said that the set procedure was not adopted for the appointment of chairman NAB by previous govt. Former opposition leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had challenged the appointment of Bukhari as chairman NAB. Nisar contended in petition that he was not consulted by prime minister for appointment of Bukhari as chairman NAB.
In its written order the court ruled that not consulting the opposition leader under section 6 of the NAB Ordinance 1999 over the appointment was a violation of the constitution. The court also issued the written order comprising on nine lines. The court has declared chairman NAB’s appointment as null and void immediately.
During the hearing counsel of chairman NAB Fasih Bukhari, Sardar Latif Khosa argued that Chaudhry Nisar had not objected on the appointment of Bukhari, adding even Nisar said even not a single word in assembly. Khosa said the set procedure was adopted by President Zardari for the appointment of Bukhari. Khosa said Prime Minister Gilani had consulted with Nisar on the issues and President Zardari considered the half hearted consent as agreement and appointed Bukhari as NAB chairman. Khosa said Chaudhry Nisar had written letter to President Zardari for sending the names of three persons for the post of the chairman NAB but president did not replied the letter of Nisar.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa inquired from Latif Khosa that if Nisar had shown consent on the name of Fasih Bukhari then the petitioner had to take back the petition. Justice Khosa inquired from Lafit Khosa weather president had made any sincere effort for evolving consensus with opposition leader. Justice Khosa said that the appointment of Bukhari should not be made political issue.
Latif Khosa said Nawaz Sharif had appointed Admiral Bukhari as the Naval chief; upon this Justice Athar Saeed said Nawaz Sharif also had appointed Parvez Musharraf as army chief. Khosa said after appointment of Musarraf as army chief his client had tendered resignation from his post. Khisa said if the appointment of Bukhari is declared null and void then the procedure of removing a judge of the high court or Supreme Court should be adopted. Justice Asif Khosa said that the real effort for the agreement on the name of chairman NAB could have been made. Latif Khosa said the petition is non-maintainable because Nisar is no more the leaders of the opposition leader, adding that the court might dismiss the petition.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir in his arguments said that president has the authority to appoint chairman NAB. Attorney general said that the Supreme Court should not deliver such verdict which could depict that the SC is against NAB.
Following the Supreme Court decision, Bokhari met with officers and other staff at the NAB headquarters. Bokhari said that he accepted the decision but was hoping for a different outcome. Bukhari said he was not expecting such verdict.
Chaudhry Nisar had filed the petition on Oct 22, 2011, stating that the president did not take leader of the house, the leader of opposition and the chief justice into confidence over Fasih Bukhari’s appointment. The government had claimed that
President Asif Ali Zardari made this appointment following consultations between then Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.
However, PML-N’s opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan challenged the high-level appointment in the apex court soon after the appointment.
President Asif Ali Zardari had appointed Fasih Hussain Bukhari as chairman NAB on Oct 16, 2011.