Karachi: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday extended its interim order asking the top federal anti-graft body to continue with its investigation and inquiries against politicians, bureaucrats and other high ups for corruption, misappropriation and abuse of powers. A division bench of SHC headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shekih and comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Muneeb Akhtar was hearing set of petitions against the new provincial law that repeals applicability of the National Accountability Ordinance ,better known as the NAB Ordinance, in Sindh.On Tuesday National Accountability Bureau submitted reply in the court on the identical petitions. In its reply NAB submitted that the repealing NAB laws applicability in Sindh was unconstitutional and illegal.It is pointed out that Sindh Governor had also pointed out loopholes in the Sindh Assembly’s legislation and had retuned the Bill without giving assent to it. It added that the Bureau had powers to take action over corruptions and misuse of powers and authority across the country under the special law.The reply further said that Supreme Court had also declared NAB Ordinance 1999 as valid law. Under the law, NAB has been given powers to take action against corrupt elements in across the country, the reply added.NAB urged the court to declare the law passed by Sindh Assembly to repeal NAB Ordinance applicability in Sindh as null and void.As the court had sought details of provincial lawmakers Sindh government officials being investigated by NAB, the Bureau submitted a list of some 600 MPAs, former MPAs, and bureaus facing NAB inquiry/investigations or references in the province.Earlier, Advocate General Sindh moved an application before the full bench of the court pleading it to review its interim order asking NAB to continue with inquiries against Sindh MPAs and bureaus.The AG Sindh argued that court could not summon the details of Assembly’s proceedings.Article 69 and 127 provides immunity to Assembly’s proceeding from judicial scrutiny.He pleaded the court to withdraw its order.The court adjourned hearing of the petitions for two weeks.Opposition parties, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)-Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and right groups have filed petitions in SHC challenging the controversial law recently enacted by the Pakistan Peoples Party led provincial government.The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Farooq Sattar, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Shaharyar Mahar and other petitioners claimed that the PPP-led provincial government had “unlawfully passed the bill without any debate in the assembly to stall NAB’s enquiries, investigations and references against bureaucrats and politicians”.They said the governor had expressed his reservations on the bill and returned it to the legislature for reconsideration, but the PPP lawmakers brought “the same unconstitutional bill to the House without any amendment” and got it passed.They added that the controversial law could not override the provisions of articles 142 and 143 of the Constitution, and that the accountability act could not have any bearing on the operation of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.The Article 142(b) empowers both the federal and provincial assemblies to enact laws regarding criminal law, procedure and evidence, while Article 143 states that if a provincial act conflicts, is inconsistent with or repugnant to a federal statute, then the latter shall prevail even if passed before the former.During last hearing, the petitioners’ counsels, Farogh Naseem and Faisal Siddiqui, said the controversial law was creating hurdles in NAB’s functioning, adding that the provincial government was restraining its departments from cooperating with the watchdog.As per the list submitted by NAB in the court, the anti-graft body is presently conducing inquiries/investigations against over 6o0 bureaucrats and politicians including Law Minister Zia-ul-Hassan Lanjar, MPAs Faqir Dad Khoso, Sharmila Farooqi, Sharjeel Memon, former chief secretary Siddiq Memon, Aijaz Chaudhry, former Member of Board of Revenue Shazar Shamoon, Secretary Badar Jameel, Ali Ahmed Lond, Managing Director Water Board Hashim Raza Zaidi, former Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, MNA Mir Munawar Talpur, MPA Ali Mardan Shah, former administrator Karachi Rauf Akhter, and Former Chairman Inter Board Anwar Zai and others on charges of graft and abuse of powers and authority. Published in Daily Times, August 23rd 2017.