ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday gave a one-week deadline to the federal government regarding the appointment of chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The court also asked the government to appoint NAB chairman as soon as could be possible and adjourned the hearing till September 13. The court said that non-appointment of the NAB chief would create complications.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the case, filed by Taimor Alam about the NAB chairman appointment.

During the hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan Munir A Malik told the bench that the government understands the problems, which are being faced by the bureau due to the absence of its chief. He stated that there was a delay in the appointment’s process because earlier names were dropped on technical reasons.

The AGP said that new names would be initiated very soon as the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah. Mr. Munir said that he had discussed this matter with the authorities concerned last night, which informed him that the government wanted the early appointment of NAB chairman.

Upon this, the chief justice observed that reasonable time was given about the appointment of NAB chairman as NAB employees were facing problems due to the non-issuance of their salaries and contracts of prosecutors were also being expired, which could not be extended in the absence of NAB Chairman.

He also said that several high profile cases were also pending in the courts, therefore, the government should appoint NAB chairman as early as possible.

Likewise, Prosecutor General NAB K.K. Agha said that in the light of the Bank of Punjab judgment deputy chairman could not use the power of chairman, adding that though the inquiries and investigations were going on in several matters but references could not be filed without the approval of NAB’s chief.

K.K. Agha also stated that NAB could not arrest high profile personalities in any corruption matter and also no new prosecutor could be appointed in the prevailing circumstances. He told that the contract of two good prosecutors for apex court has lapsed and the contract of four prosecutors from Punjab would expire in this week.

Upon this, the CJP said that the court was aware about these problems; therefore it asked the government again and again to appoint NAB’s chairman. He also asked the AGP that why he was not taking up these matters before the government as no positive thing was coming from the executive’s side.

The AGP requested the bench to give some time for completing the consultation process. Later, the court directed the government to appoint the chairman till September 13.