ISLAMABAD    -   The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday directed the Accountability Courts in the country to hear corruption cases on daily basis without granting adjournment and decide them expeditiously.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of a suo moto notice about the delay in trial of cases by the Accountability Courts in the light of Section 16 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, which requires decision of NAB cases within 30 days.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed noted the factum of delay in pending cases before the Accountability Courts. The bench said that there should be no delay in references, and they be decided soon in accordance with the law.

The apex court said that the prosecutor generals make their availability before the courts and do not seek adjournment. The chairman is asked to make sure that its (apex court) order is complied and if anyone found not complying the court order then take action against them.

The Chief Justice directed the Accountability Court, Karachi, to record the statements of remaining witnesses regarding misappropriation in the construction of Lakhra Power Plant by 2nd November and there should be no adjournment.

The prosecutor general NAB informed that the case regarding Rs2.5 billion corruption case against a provincial legislator belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, former President of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Goharullah and others regarding fraudulent sale of coal is fixed on October 31. He said that out of 26 witnesses the statements of five have been recorded.

The court said that the prosecution and defense should produce their witnesses and the NAB court should complete the witnesses’ statements by November 2. It added that after recording the witnesses’ statements the Accountability Court, Karachi, decide the case within one week. The AC Karachi is ordered to submit report of the case before the Registrar Supreme Court within one month.

With the onset of the proceeding, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Sohail Mehmood informed that Ministry of Law and Justice is examining the NAB Rules. The bench questioned that why the government has so far not appointed a permanent secretary law and ordered to appoint permanent secretary soon.

The AAG told that all 24 Accountability Courts across the country are functioning. 

The Chief Justice said that in July they had ordered to establish 120 ACs so that corruption cases be decided in the light of Section 16 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 within 30 days.

The AAG informed that Attorney General for Pakistan Jawed Khalid would meet with the Prime Minister on Wednesday (yesterday) regarding the matter.

Chief Justice Gulzar said that on September 15 the apex court was informed that the Rules would be finalized and implemented within one month, while the cabinet approval would be obtained for setting up of 120 courts in the country.