Pak minister says Supreme Court cannot order PM's arrest

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 05:20 hrs

Islamabad: Only the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) can issue an arrest order in an anti-corruption case, Pakistan's Law Minister Farooq H. Naek has said.

He was commenting on Tuesday's Supreme Court judgement ordering the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf and 16 others in the Rental Power Project (RPP) case, Online news agency said.

The Supreme Court is not a trial court and, first, a case has to be tried by a lower court. After that appeals go to the high court and the Supreme Court, Naek told a private channel Tuesday.

Stating that there was no mention in the apex court's order that a particular person was accused or a reference be filed against him, the law minister said he hoped the court would not do anything that could harm democracy or lead to confrontation among institutions.

Prime Minister Ashraf is accused of violating rules in rental power projects during his tenure as minister for water and power, Xinhua reported. The Supreme Court also asked the NAB to ensure that no one flees the country.

NAB's chairman Admiral (Retd.) Fasih Bukhari has said that the Supreme Court's orders will be carried out on delivery of the final verdict in RPP case.

The apex court in its earlier verdict in March 2012 had observed that rules and regulations were violated in the projects due to which the national exchequer witnessed losses worth billions.

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