Capital's NAB Court Welcomes New Judge

The Law and Justice Ministry has designated Nasir Javed Rana, a district and sessions judge, to preside over Islamabad’s Accountability Court-I, taking over from the outgoing judge, Muhammad Bashir, who is due to retire on March 14.

An official notice released on Monday confirmed that Rana will hold the position in the accountability court up to January 24, 2027.

Judge Bashir sought medical leave on January 20, leading up to his retirement, citing health issues that impeded his ability to fulfill his duties. Despite this, his leave request was not granted by the ministry. Subsequently, he retracted his leave application on January 27, claiming to have recovered and ready to resume work.

On January 28, Bashir handed down a 14-year prison sentence to ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, for misappropriating the state’s gift depository during Khan’s premiership. Bashir later filed for medical leave again on February 3, until his planned retirement.

Throughout his career, Bashir oversaw several significant cases, including those involving National Accountability Bureau (NAB) charges against Imran Khan and his spouse linked to a £190m scandal.

He also managed cases against other prominent figures, including former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif, Yousuf Raza Gillani, and former President Asif Ali Zardari, focusing on various allegations from the misuse of state gifts to financial improprieties.

Having been appointed in 2012 under then-Prime Minister Gilani, Bashir served an extended period beyond the typical three-year term for judges in his position, marking eleven years in the NAB court. His tenure included assignments under Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif in 2018 and Imran Khan in 2021, making him a unique figure in the judiciary for convicting two ex-prime ministers on corruption charges.

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