Confusions about NAB Ordinance 2019

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Earlier, the supreme court of Pakistan had approved the petition against the national accountability ordinance, 2019, which was Implemented by the Tehreek-e-Insaf government of Pakistan on Friday through a presidential ordinance, known as the National accountability ordinance. Accountability was amended on momentarily, 1999.

Confusions about NAB Ordinance 2019
Confusions about NAB Ordinance 2019

The appeal forced the Supreme Court to suspend the national accountability modification ordinance, 2019, when it was claimed that the amendment was against article 25 of the constitution, and the corruption of ministers and government officials trying to save the planet.

According to the amendment, NAB can now cover corruption or corruption cases worth more than Rs 500 million and no action will be taken against public servants in the event of departmental deficiencies.

“in spite of this, anything the ordinance contains or any other act for the time being in force, no inquiry, investigation, arrest or proceedings against a government servant, under this ordinance, either suspect or testify, shall be started or conducted by NAB without approval of the projection committee,” said a new salvation inserted in Section 33-F of the ordinance.

Another amendment prohibited the accountability watchdog from impounding the property of any public office holder without permission of the scrutiny committee.

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According to another amendment, “Inquiries and investigations should stand conveyed to the respective departments or authorities who supervise the relevant laws of taxation, levies, and customs in question.

The cases or trials shall stand conveyed from the relevant accountability courts to the criminal courts which deal with crimes under the respective laws related to taxation, levies, and imposts in question.

Moreover, another modification is required to conceive by the chairman of the NAB, to set a complaint requital mechanism to cope with complaints against NAB and present a periodically report on its performance to the federal government.

In a summary sent by the law ministry to the federal cabinet, the government claimed that the NAB was dealing with a large number of inquiries and investigations including handling of mega corruption cases.

“Under the existing authority several investigations have been initiated against the holders of public office and government employees owing to procedural failure where no actual corruption is concerned. It has increased NAB’s burden and has also influenced the working of the federal government.”

Further, it is noticed that the NAB had assumed parallel authorities and was inquiring into matters relating to taxation, the imposition of levies and interference in the zone of taxation regulatory bodies.

“Therefore, it is felt important and essential to explain the operational domain of NAB through thematic modifications,” it added.

The anti-graft agency’s jurisdiction over matters relating to tax, stock exchange, and IPOs have been diminished. Different institutions including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) should be unique or independent jurisdiction ventured to act on all such matters.

On Dec 27, Federal Cabinet approved the circulation summary and issued the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2019 after President Dr. Arif Alvi signed it.

NAB Ordinance 2019 Page 1
NAB Ordinance 2019-Page 1
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NAB Ordinance 2019-Page 4

According to the proposed NAB ordinance, the anti-graft watchdog will no longer be allowed to take action against government employees and Bureau will not seize the property of government officials without the orders of the court.

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Moreover, NAB will now only be able to proceed in corruption cases of Rs500 million and more.

The anti-graft agency’s jurisdiction over matters relating to tax, stock exchange, and IPOs have been curtailed. Different institutions like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan will be the sole authorities tasked to act on all such matters.

Earlier, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani has said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2019 has been introduced to save Prime Minister Imran Khan and his allies.

The minister held a press conference in Islamabad and remarked that the premier had once said that some of his friends are under scrutiny by the anti-corruption watchdog, and he will now be happy as the amendment ordinance has saved them from accountability.

Rahbar Committee convener Akram Durrani said the NAB ordinance has been introduced to save Prime Minister Imran Khan and his friends. He bashed the federal government and said it has failed to provide electricity and gas to the people.

Akram Durrani alleged that those who speak up openly, cases are lodged against them. He stressed that the opposition does not want conflict between the institutions.

The media are reporting something that is not factual and not related to the NAB ordinance. That is why people are getting frustrated that Nawaz Sharif and other politicians will not be held accountable.

Nawaz Sharif will not benefit from this ordinance. The media’s misogyny has led people to believe that every case of Nawaz Sharif has been abolished. And there is a deal between Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif that’s why the NAB ordinance has been introduced. It is yet to be decided whether this ordinance will apply to new cases or old cases. It is yet to be decided whether the ordinance will be upheld by those whose referents are filed. Or even those who are currently undergoing an investigation or inquiry phase.

The court ordered the NAB to file references on Nawaz Sharif’s case. The first reference was from the Evans Field Reference. This was a case of London flats or what was the source of income of his children? Nawaz Sharif could not prove it.

 Nawaz Sharif was a public office holder at that time, so he had to prove that what was the source of income for his children?

The second reference was to Al-Azizah’s references in which he was punished.

Confusions about NAB Ordinance 2019
Confusions about NAB Ordinance 2019

There was a third flagship case in which he was acquitted which is challenged by the NAB.

The fourth case was that of Choudhary Sugar Mills, in which he was arrested. In which the Lahore High Court granted him bail. All these cases have nothing to do with the NAB ordinance amendment. So Nawaz Sharif does not benefit from all these amendments.

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