The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday terminated amendments introduced by previous government in National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and ordered to restore all cases to the concern courts that were abolished after changing in the law. The court restored all NAB cases and inquiries against public office holders, including those less than worth Rs 500 million, that were returned to the bureau after the amendments in law. It also set aside the clauses pertaining to the definition of benami, assets beyond known sources of income and shifting burden of proof onto the prosecution. The court declared the section preventing the NAB from taking action against government officers as void. A three-member bench of the top court headed by outgoing Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah announced the verdict which was reserved on September 5, after conducting 53 hearings in the case filed by Chairman Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI). The bench announced the judgment by 2-1 majority as Justice Mansoor Ali Shah wrote dissenting note in it. Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial read out the verdict against amendments and said that the petition was declared as maintainable. The court also terminated the orders of accountability courts which were passed in the light of NAB amendments and directed to fix all restored cases again before the relevant courts. It directed the bureau to submit all record of restored cases to the concern courts within seven days for re-starting the trials. The order said that the amendments in NAB law had affected the fundamental rights of the public. It, however, stated that the amendments pertaining to the section-V had been maintained to the extent of civil servants. The top court also set aside the clause pertaining to applying the amendments from past. It may be mentioned here that the Chairman Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) had challenged the amendments in NAB law in July 2022. The top court had reserved its judgment on September 5, after hearing all respondents. Advocate Khawaja Haris represented chairman PTI while Makhdoom Ali Khan represented the federal government during hearing. The NAB amendments had not only reduced the four-year term of the NAB chairman and the bureau’s prosecutor general to three years, but also placed all regulatory bodies functioning in the country out of NAB’s domain. Furthermore, the changes included that a three-year term be set for the judges of the accountability courts and that courts be bound to decide a case within one year. Challenging the amendments, Khan approached the apex court and petitioned that the amendments be struck down on grounds that they were unconstitutional.The petition argued that amendments to sections 2, 4, 5, 6, 25 and 26 of the NAB law are against the Constitution, along with amendments made to sections 14, 15, 21 and 23. Furthermore, Khan argued that amendments in the NAB law are contrary to the fundamental rights of Article 9, 14, 19, 24, 25. All these amendments made in the NAB law should be declared null and void, the PTI Chairman PTI had requested. To hear Khan’s plea, a special 3-member bench was formed on July 15, 2022. The first hearing of the case against the NAB amendments was held on July 19 last year after Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris filed an application 184/3 against the NAB amendments. Both the federation and NAB were made parties in the petition.