ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The corruption cases against political figures have been reinstated after the Supreme Court issued a significant ruling on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's petition challenging the amendments to the country's accountability laws.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former President Asif Ali Zardari, and former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani will likely face investigations after the Supreme Court struck down some accountability laws in a 2-1 decision.
In a majority decision issued Friday, the Supreme Court reinstated graft cases against public officials that had been closed following amendments made during the PDM-led government.
The three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, ruled that the PTI chief's petition was admissible.
The Supreme Court declared nine of ten amendments null and void, with Justice Shah dissenting.
The Supreme Court ordered the restoration of all graft cases worth less than Rs500 million that had been closed against political leaders from various political parties and public office holders and declared the amendments void.
The decision on Khan's appeal also stated that the NAB amendments affected public rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The verdict has far-reaching implications because repealing the amendments means that references against some of the country's political heavyweights will again land in accountability courts.
In light of the verdict, the anti-corruption watchdog was directed to reopen the Toshakhana cases against Nawaz, Zardari, and Gillani, and the rental power reference against Raja Pervez Ashraf was reinstated.
According to sources, cases against former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will also be reopened. The accountability courts will hear all of these cases.