LAHORE - An LHC full bench has been constituted to hear the petition challenging National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 and the ruling against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law under the same law.

The three-member bench will be headed by Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza while Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi and Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmad its other members. The hearing of the petition would be fixed in due course.

A single bench comprising Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi, last month, had sought larger bench hearing of the petition observing it agitated important legal points.

With the observation the single bench had referred the matter to the chief justice seeking constitution of a larger bench.

Senior lawyer A.K Dogar had filed the petition to assail the conviction of Sharifs in addition to a challenge the existence of the NAB ordinance. The lawyer pleaded that the former premier Nawaz Sharif and others had been convicted by a court which had no jurisdiction because the law under which it (court) had been created did not exist anymore. He stated that the high court should suspend the operation of the accountability court’s judgment for being a court established under a non-extent law. Questioning the validity of the NAB law, Advocate Dogar argued that the ordinance was promulgated by then military dictator/president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) No.1 of 1999 as well as order No.9 of 1999.  He said the order No.9 was promulgated only to amend PCO No.1 of 1999 by inserting section 5A (1) in it to the effect that limitation of 120 days prescribed under Article 89 of the Constitution to any ordinance by the president will not be applicable to the laws made under PCO No.1 of 1999. He said under Article 270-AA of the Constitution through 18th amendment, the PCO No.1 of 1999 was declared without lawful authority and of no legal effect.  The lawyer argued that once PCO No.1 was declared without lawful authority and of no legal effect, the amendments in it made under order No.9 of 1999 will also stand lapsed and therefore, the limitation period of 120 days prescribed under Article 89 will be applicable to the NAB ordinance.  The petitioner prays for the court injunction to the effect that following the 18th amendment and insertion of Article 270-AA in the Constitution, the NAB ordinance has ceased to exist as law hence become non-existent for any practical purpose.