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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a comprehensive report on Section 17-D of NAO, 1999. A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, heard the case regarding registration of more than one NAB reference against the same accused.

Arshad Khan, who faces a reference filed by the country's top anti-graft body, had filed the petition. Justice Bandial noted that late Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth's verdict on Section 17-D was important. He said assistance was required on the points raised by the petitioner.

The NAB was asked to submit the report in two weeks, and share the report with the petitioner. Tariq Mehmood, the lawyer for the petitioner, told the court that the maximum imprisonment sentence under the accountability law was 14 years. He asked as to whether a suspect would face 14 years' imprisonment in each case, if he was sentenced in five references.

"It is an injustice with the accused, if this is the case," he added. Giving the reference of convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif's case, he said the apex court at that time had ordered the NAB to file three references.

"Section 17-D of the National Accountability Ordinance should be interpreted."

In the last hearing, the apex court had ordered to club all the identical cases and appeals regarding the matter. The case was adjourned for 15 days.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021