ISLAMABAD A three-member bench of Supreme Court Tuesday directed Attorney General for Pakistan to submit a written reply regarding issuance of NAB Ordinance. The bench comprising Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, and Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa was hearing identical petitions, challenging NAB Amended ordinance promulgated by President Asif Ali Zardari last month. Syed Zafar Ali Shah of PML-N and Shahid Orakzai, a freelance journalist had challenged the NAB Amended Ordinance in the apex court claiming that Prime Minister was not consulted before issuance of the ordinance, which was a violation of Article 48 of the Constitution. Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq appearing on notice submitted that he was abroad therefore he could not prepare the case and requested that he should be given some time to submit his written reply which the court granted and adjourned the hearing for one week. The court, however, directed the AG to appear before the court on the next hearing with comprehensive but concisely written answers on constitutional justification for issuing NAB amendment Ordinance and a record, comprising dates of consultations with the Prime Minister and stages in NAB Ordinances issuance. Zafar Ali Shah, the petitioner, requested the court to ask the government as to on which date the Ordinance was sent to Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP). The court however, observed that the written statement would summarise everything. In their petitions, Syed Zafar Ali Shah and Shahid Orakzai had prayed to the apex court to declare that the promulgation of any ordinance by the president without positive advice of the Prime Minister violates the constitution and invokes Article 47 of the Constitution. They had contended that the NAB law amendment was aimed to take away NAB chairmans powers. They questioned as to whether the president could promulgate an ordinance under Article 89 without the advice of the Cabinet or the Prime Minister. It is pertinent to recall that the ordinance issued by President Asif Ali Zardari on September 16 also echoed in both houses of parliament on October 4, embarrassing Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the National Assembly, forcing an opposition walkout from the Senate and a split within the PPP, with Senator Raza Rabbani joining the opposition walkout.