ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Wednesday said that han­dling of cases by National Account­ability Bureau (NAB) over the years for political victimization had lowered down the image of anti-graft body, which had become a tool for arm twisting of political opponents of the government.

The top lawyers’ bodies in a statement issued by the council secretary said that PBC Vice-Chief Abid Saqi and SCBA President Syed Qalb-i-Hassan strongly com­mended and appreciated the Su­preme Court judgement on ‘Par­agon Housing Society Corruption Case’ and termed it as one of the land mark verdicts of the apex court in the country’s history.

The bar leaders said the judge­ment touched upon the impor­tance of human dignity, signifi­cance of fundamental rights of citizens and respect for the rule of law and supremacy of the con­stitution, while dispensing justice, will not only always be a source of strength for the independent judi­ciary but would also provide guid­ance to judges as well as members of the bar.

They said the findings and re­marks of the Supreme Court, as per the verdict against the NAB, amply reflect about the bias of NAB in handling cases to utter dis­regard of basic principles of dis­pensation of justice and funda­mental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

They said the worthy judges have elaborately observed about the lack of professionalism, exper­tise and sincerity of purpose that the conviction rate in NAB cases is abysmally low, which certainly is not serving the national interest rather causing irretrievable harm to the country, nation and society in multiple ways.

The lawyers’ leaders said that the verdict also explains that ar­rest of a person is a grave mat­ter, but the capricious exercise of the power to arrest had deleteri­ous consequences and, therefore, needed to be exercised with care, caution and sensitivity.

It has also emphasized that ar­rest of a person has to be justified not only by referring to prima fa­cie evidence and adequate action­able material sufficiently connect­ing the person with the offence.

They maintained that the power of arrest should not be deployed as a tool of oppression and harassment.