SC raises questions over Imran’s conduct

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): Supreme Court Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has raised questions over the conduct of Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and his party during the hearing of a petition challenging the NAB amendments.
During hearing, Justice Shah inquired that if Imran and his party abstained from voting on the National Accountability Ordinance amendments. He wondered that what right a party does have to challenge the amendments in a court of law when it abstains from voting on it’! He further inquired if it was sagacious on the part of a parliamentarian to leave his place empty in the parliament house.
He asked, “Is it an attempt to weaken the parliament if people bring matters to the courts which should have been resolved in the parliament.” Justice Shah went on to say that if the PTI MNAs’ resignations were not accepted, it meant that their membership was still intact. “An MNA is a trustee of the confidence of his constituents. Is it fair if the trustee of the constituents boycotts the parliament?” the judge wondered.
The judge remarked how we could establish that the NAB amendments case was in public interest. He wondered if it was the job of three judges sitting here in the court to determine what was in public interest! He said it had not been elaborated which amendments to the NAO were in conflict with the basic rights. He remarked that Imran Khan’s lawyers had been discussing only the Islamic clauses and basic structure of the constitution.
Federal government lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan said that had Imran wanted, he could have defeated the NAB amendments in the assembly. Had all the PTI members attend the assembly, they would have been in majority, he added. At this, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the court would seek a reply from Imran Khan.
The CJP further asked if it was logical not to hear a case of public interest, if the conduct of a petitioner was not right. Every leader tries to refer to the constitution to declare his actions right, the chief justice said adding that boycotting the parliament was PTI’s political strategy but it wasn’t necessary that there should be some legal reason to this political strategy.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Bandial remarked that sometimes legal strategy seemed to be a political stupidity. He observed that it happened all over the world that parliaments were boycotted and the history of parliamentary boycott was even longer in the subcontinent.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the petitioner challenged the NAB amendments in public interest. The questions on Imran’s conduct could have only been raised, had he got personal benefit for it. But apparently it seems that the petitioner is not accruing any personal benefit from it, the judge observed. CJP Bandial remarked it seemed obvious that Imran knew that he could not have succeeded in the parliament and he came to the court.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah expressed his bafflement if the court nullified the NAB law then tomorrow another petitioner would have come forward and challenge the legislation in the Supreme Court. The court adjourned the case till February 14.