Former prime minister Imran Khan (left) and his wife Bushra Bibi. — Twitter/PTI/File

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Former prime minister Imran Khan (left) and his wife Bushra Bibi. — Twitter/PTI/File
  • IHC states that NAB call-up notices have no legal effect.
  • Says NAB “shall be at liberty to issue fresh notices” to Imran Khan, wife. 
  • Provisions under NAB amendment Act 2022 were not followed, says court

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court declared on Saturday, the notices issued by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in the Toshakhana case, illegal.

The latest victory for the former prime minister came during the hearing of his and Bushra Bibi’s pleas challenging the call-up notices issued on February 17 and March 16, by the anti-graft watchdog.

The petitions filed under Section 19 of the National Accountability (second amendment) Act 2022, moved the court to declare the NAB call-up notices illegal, as well as the disciplinary action against the petitioners based on the call-up notices.

The seven-page verdict stated that the call-up notices sent by NAB possessed no legal effect.

It stated that it was “needless to observe that NAB shall be at liberty to issue fresh notices to the petitioners in line with the observations made hereinabove as well as law on the subject”.

Citing Section 19(e) of the NAB amendment act 2022, the verdict stated that the provision under the section wasn’t followed which makes it compulsory that an individual is being summoned as an accused or witness.

Moreover, the verdict stated that said that the Sindh High Court had also laid down the principles in a case back in 2007. These principles were endorsed by the Supreme Court in the Arsalan Iftikhar case, while IHC also followed the principles in the Rukhsana Bangash case, it added.

The principles laid down are as follows:

  • If notice is issued to a person, who is a suspect in an inquiry or investigation, and the nature of the allegations against him (should be stated).
  • The name and identity of the complainant; if NAB has initiated an inquiry/investigation, then it should be stated so in the notice.
  • Documents, if any, sought from a person called as suspect or witness (should be stated).
  • If a person is called as a witness, it would be so stated in the call-up notice.
  • If the custodian of any material document or record is called for examination of same, the call-up notice should state the details of documents and record.
  • Date, time and place, where the person called, is to appear (should be stated).
  • Any other relevant information (should be stated).

With the above-mentioned observations, the court disposed of the petitions filed by Khan and his wife.

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