LHC moved for declaring NAB’s power to arrest suspects invalid

09:16 AM | 18 Dec, 2018
LHC moved for declaring NAB’s power to arrest suspects invalid
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LAHORE – A petition challenging the authority of the National Accountability Bureau to arrest a suspect before concluding investigation against him has been filed in the Lahore High Court.

Lawyers Foundation for Justice filed the petition through its counsel A.K.Dogar stating that detaining a suspect before the completion of the probe is the violation of fundamental rights ensured by Article 10 (1) of the Constitution.

The petitioner pleaded the high court to strike down sections 24 (a) and (d) of the NAB Ordinance 1999 as these laws are inconsistent with the Constitution for two reasons. Firstly, no person can be taken into custody or arrested until the suspect is informed about the grounds of his arrest because they can only be established after the conclusion of the probe.

Secondly, the petitioner says, no investigation is constitutionally valid unless an accused has been granted the fundamental right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice, Express Tribune reported.

The petitioner’s counsel further pleaded the court to bar the anti-corruption watchdog from arresting citizens under its invalid powers. He also asked the court to order the NAB to release the hundreds of accused detained by it.

Meanwhile, Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh of the LHC has directed the federal government to submit a reply on the petition.

The petition further said that judges and officers of the armed forces should be held accountable as there is not impunity to anyone in Islam.

He told the court that failure to do so is the clear violation of Article 25 of the Constitution. He asked that parliament be declared a supreme institution which could summon judges and the heads of the armed forces.