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Supreme Court rejects live-streaming of the NAB case hearing

NAB Amendment Case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has rejected the request for live-streaming of the NAB case hearing on Thursday. Four judges opposed the live-streaming of the case while one judge, Justice Athar Minallah, supported the live coverage request.

During the hearing of intra-court appeals filed by federal and provincial governments against NAB amendments, Justice Minallah emphasized the importance of broadcasting the case live, citing previous instances.

The case is under the scrutiny of a five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and including Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Minallah, and Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi.

As the hearing commenced, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general informed the court of the provincial government’s request for live broadcast, asserting that it’s a matter of public interest.

However, Chief Justice Isa differed, stating that the case is technical rather than a matter of public interest. The court then adjourned for a break to discuss the issue of live streaming further.

In a previous hearing on May 16, which wasn’t broadcast live, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) founder Imran Khan appeared via video link. His appearance, the first in the apex court since his arrest last year, raised controversy as his image was leaked on social media, prompting the SC administration to launch an investigation.

The NAB amendments case stems from former Prime Minister Khan’s petition challenging changes made to the accountability laws during the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government.

In September 2023, a three-member bench of the SC, led by then-Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, restored graft cases against public office holders, ruling the amendments void.

This decision has significant implications as it reopens corruption cases against prominent political figures. Following the verdict, the federal government appealed against the SC’s decision, marking a continuation of the legal battle over accountability laws.

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