ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed on Monday a petition filed by Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed, seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over alleged corruption in the award of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the plea, filed through Barrister Latif Khosa, requesting the top court to order the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate action against Abbasi in this regard.
The bench observed that the case did not fall under preview of Article 184 (3) of the Constitution. “We do not want a repeat of Reko Diq, Pakistan Steels Mills wherein the country suffered huge financial loss due to court intervention,” the CJP observed.
Justice Nisar added that the petitioner might approach NAB about the matter. “We believe that NAB is an independent body,” he said. “Let NAB take care of it.”
The CJP stressed that the top court shall not interfere in matters of political nature.
The petition accused the premier of corruption in the LNG contract awarded in 2015 as the minister for petroleum and natural resources. It stated that importing LNG without an agreement was illegal, calling into question the integrity of PM Abbasi. It said transparency was a must when awarding contracts of public importance.
The petitioner had prayed to the top court to declare it as a matter of fundamental rights.