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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Wednesday, turned down a petition challenging the vires of section 21(h) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999 and seeking implementation of the recommendations of the Broadsheet Commission.

A single bench of the IHC comprising its Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard a petition moved by the Jurists Foundation through its counsel Riaz Hanif Rahi advocate and dismissed the same after hearing the arguments.

The petitioner invoked the jurisdiction of the Court under Article 199 of the Constitution and challenged the vires of section 21(h) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

Simultaneously, the Foundation also sought a direction to the federal government and other agencies under its control, to register cases and recover money pursuant to recommendations made by the Commission constituted vide notification, dated 29 January 2021 referred to as the “Broadsheet Commission”.

The latter was notified by the federal government in exercise of powers conferred under the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017.

The IHC single bench stated that the Foundation challenged the vires of section 21(h) of the Ordinance of 1999 and it is seeking a declaration despite the fact that no cause of action has arisen.

It added that the prayer regarding vires of the aforementioned provision is academic in nature.

The court further said that a petitioner has to be aggrieved because of some act or omission to challenge the vires of an enacted law otherwise the adjudication would be an academic exercise.

It is settled law that questions which are of academic nature are not justiciable while exercising jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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