ISLAMABAD - Constitutional experts have divergent views about the Supreme Court order in which the National Accountability Bureau has been directed to arrest all those involved in the rental power plants (RPPs) scam.

Yasin Azad, former Supreme Court Bar Associationpresident, opined that after the Supreme Court order ‘there is no legal bar for the arrest of the prime minister and others’. He said that no one would have courage to arrest the prime minister but the PM should himself resignafter the verdict.

Sadar Ishaq, who defended Arsalan Iftikhar in a case against Malik Riaz, said constitutionally Raja Pervaiz Ashraf‘is still the prime minister’ but morally he should resign because after the apex court order he has no justification to continue as the premier.

“The charges against him are not normal but of corruption.” Raja Pervaiz Ashraf served as the minister for Water and Power and Information Technology in the federal cabinet from March 2008 to June 2012.

Declaring the RPPs contracts null and void in March 2012, the Supreme Court directed the NAB chairman to proceed against ministers and secretaries for Water and Power who had the charge in 2006 and from 2008 to onward.

Duringthis time the RPPs were set up and the down payment was increased from 7 percent to 14 percent. Athar Minhallah, a senior lawyer, said that the ‘prime minister is an accused not a convict’.

He said that the PM was not tried by name and nowhere in the SC judgment his name was mentioned. The NAB chairman is empowered to see whether the references against PM and other persons involved in the RPPs should be sent to the accountability court,Minhallah said.  The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the NAB additional prosecutor general that he should undertake all the necessary steps to get approved the references against the accused to arrest them without any hesitation and put up report on Thursday.

Raja Amir Abbas, former NABadditional prosecutor general, said that the Supreme Court had directed NAB to do the arrest and the order ‘is clear’.

The prime minister and others should get bail from high court or sessions court or to challenge the order and claim immunity. The NAB had presented its detailed report before the court, he said.