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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the Accountability Courts all over the country to hear corruption cases on a daily basis without granting adjournments, and decide them expeditiously.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, on Wednesday heard suo motu regarding delay in trial of cases by accountability courts in the light of Section 16 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, which required decisions of the NAB cases within 30 days.

The chief justice noted the factum of delay in pending cases before the accountability courts. The bench said there should be no delay in adjudication of references, and these be decided soon, in accordance with the law.

The court said the prosecutors general must ensure their availability before courts and that they must not seek adjournment.

The chairman is asked to make sure that its (apex court) order is complied with in letter and spirit.

If anyone found not complying with the court’s order then take action against them.

The chief justice directed the Accountability Court, Karachi, to record the statements of the remaining witnesses regarding misappropriation in the construction of Lakhra Power Plant by 2nd November, and there should be no adjournment.

The prosecutor general NAB informed to apex court that the case regarding Rs2.5 billion corruption case against a provincial legislator belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, former president of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Goharullah and others regarding fraudulent sale of coal is fixed on Oct 31.

He said out of 26 witnesses the statements of five had been recorded.

The court said the prosecution and defence produce their witnesses and the NAB court complete the witnesses’ statements by November 2, adding that after recording the witnesses’ statements the Accountability Court, Karachi, decide the case within one week.

The AC Karachi is ordered to submit report of the case before the registrar Supreme Court within one month, the SC said.

At the onset of the proceeding, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Sohail Mehmood stated that Ministry of Law and Justice was examining the NAB Rules.

The bench questioned why the government has so far not appointed a permanent secretary law and ordered to appoint a permanent secretary soon.

The AAG said that all 24 Accountability Courts across the country were functioning.

The chief justice said in July they had ordered to establish 120 ACs, so that corruption cases be decided in light of Section 16 of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 within 30 days.

The AAG said that Attorney General for Pakistan Jawed Khalid would meet with the prime minister today (Wednesday) regarding the matter. The chief justice noted that on September 15 the apex court was informed that the Rules would be finalised and implemented within one month, while the cabinets approval would be obtained for setting up of 120 courts in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020