Govt to appoint Shah as NAB chief again

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to appoint Justice (Retd) Deedar Hussain Shah again as Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after the Supreme Court (SC) Thursday ordered him to relinquish the charge immediately.

Since the apex court declared Shah’s appointment as illegal, and ultra vires to the Constitution, the government has decided to fulfil all legal as well as constitutional requirements for NAB chief’s appointment this time.

Well-informed sources told news agency that Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has moved a summary proposal for the appointment of Deedar Shah as Chairman NAB through proper channel. The President is most likely to sign the summary soon, the sources added.

Once the President signs the summary proposal for appointment, afresh, of Justice Shah as Chairman NAB, he is most likely to take the charge again as he left the Office Thursday afternoon following the Court’s verdict.

Sources further told Online, the Prime Minister convened an emergent and confidential meeting immediately after the court issued its short Order that not only declared as illegal and ultra vires but also barred him from holding the office, forthwith.

The meeting under Premier Gilani involving legal wizards of the government besides the relevant senior officials underlined various options including a review petition. Finally, the government decided to appoint Justice Shah again after fulfilling the legal as well as constitutional requirements this time.

Earlier Justice Shah left his office in his private transport without any protocol of the Chairman NAB as soon as he received the Order of the court Thursday afternoon. It is pertinent to recall here that the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Ch Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N had challenged the appointment of Shah as Chairman NAB in the apex court. He had claimed that the government had appointed Justice Shah without his consent.

At the same time the government insisted that the Constitution requires consultation with the Opposition Leader and his consent as such was not required. Nisar Ali Khan had admitted on floor of the House during one of the previous sessions of the National Assembly that the Prime Minister did ask him about Justice Shah to be appointed as Chairman NAB but he had raised objections on behalf of his party.

This debate whether the Opposition Leader has the mandate to reject a name proposed by the Prime Minister for Chairmanship of the NAB continued until it entered the legal arena. (Online)

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