Supreme Court’s Justice Mansoor Ali Shah on Friday suggested Chief Justice (CJ) Umar Ata Bandial constitute a full court to hear Pakistan Tekreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments, a private TV channel reported. “I think that the NAB amendments case should be heard by the full court; the case will have its own impact,” Justice Mansoor remarked during the 48th hearing on the petition. Headed by CJP Bandial, a three-member bench, comprising Justice Mansoor and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the petitions. Justice Mansoor further said that the Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan had raised an objection in the military court’s case. “Under Sections 3 and 4 of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, the case should be heard by a bench of at least 5 members,” he remarked, adding that the CJP should constitute a full court for the case. Justice Mansoor said he had also suggested that a full court be formed for hearing the petitions challenging the military trials of civilians. “My objection is that only the full court should hear such cases. The Supreme Court should first decide on the practice and procedure law,” he said during the hearing. “The Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act has not been decided yet. If it had, the matter would have been different,” he observed. CJ Bandial however remarked that the parties should give final arguments at the next hearing. “This case is pending since 2022, it is not necessary to give a decision on the merits of the case,” he said, “No one has challenged the amendments made in the NAB law before us.” “My retirement is fast-approaching and this is a very important case. I will have to give a decision come what may,” he said. “I t will be a shame if I fail to give a judgment on the matter.” Later, the apex court postponed the hearing until August 28. It must be noted that Justice Mansoor was one of the two judges who earlier said that it was important “to revisit the power of ‘one-man show’ enjoyed by the office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan [Umar Ata Bandial]”. During the hearing, Yasir Aman, the assistant counsel of Khawaja Haris – the PTI’s counsel – told the court that Haris had asked for Aman to appear in his place owing to poor health. The Supreme Court allowed Aman to present arguments. At the outset, Justice Mansoor slammed the PTI’s lawyer for failing to respond to what fundamental rights the amendments were circumventing. “If you recall, I also asked during the 47th hearing which fundamental rights are being affected by the NAB amendments,” he remarked, adding that the question was put in the first hearing as well. “The petitioner’s counsel could not give a satisfactory answer to the question of fundamental rights asked multiple times,” Justice Mansoor said. An application was filed by the PTI chief last year with the apex court challenging National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 2000 by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government. Later, a report submitted by the graft buster to the apex court revealed that the NAO had ended up benefitting over 90 per cent of cases, including high-profile ones, that NAB was dealing with. Experts note that the case carries significant importance as it revolves around the alterations introduced to the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act in 2022 by the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, which assumed power in April of the same year. The PTI heavily criticised the PDM’s decision to approve these amendments, denouncing it as an attempt to limit the anti-graft watchdog’s authority. Furthermore, in July of last year, the federal cabinet passed the National Accountability (Third Amendment) Bill for 2022. This bill further restricted the NAB’s role in corruption cases involving amounts exceeding Rs500 million. Additionally, it rescinded the president’s ability to appoint judges for the accountability court.