SC dismisses petition seeking contempt proceedings against NAB chief

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has dismissed a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman over failure to complete an inquiry against Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar within the stipulated timeframe, Aaj News reported on Monday.

The verdict was issued by a three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

Petitioner Ahsan Abid had contended that in May 2020, NAB had informed the Lahore High Court the inquiry against the minister would be completed in three months. “Due to its failure to conclude the inquiry in three months, NAB has committed contempt of court,” the petitioner said.

Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel asked the petitioner to tell where was it written in the law that contempt of court proceedings can be initiated if the inquiry was not completed in time?

NAB Deputy Prosecutor Imranul Haq apprised the bench that the inquiry against Bakhtiar has been finished and NAB Lahore has sent recommendations to the headquarters. “The decision on the inquiry report will be taken in the executive board meeting,” Haq added.

Justice Bandial asked the petitioner if he had any personal issues with the federal minister. To this, the petitioner responded that he filed the plea in public interest.

“If it is not your personal problem then why are you appearing in person,” Justice Mazhar Alam questioned.

“We cannot interfere in the workings of NAB,” Justice Bandial said, adding that the petitioner did not prepare the case. He further said that the court cannot order NAB to probe politicians or federal ministers.

Later, the court dismissed the plea by declaring it as non-maintainable.