Blocking suspects’ accounts as inquiry goes on is violation, court tells NAB
ISLAMABAD: The high court of the federal capital has Saturday ruled against the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) practice of blocking its under-investigation suspects’ bank accounts terming it a violation of the law, ARY News reported.
The high court dubbed section 23 of NAB rules wherein it is authorized to block bank accounts of people who are under inquiry for suspected financial crimes, but Islamabad High Court termed this law against the Constitution of Pakistan.
Blocking bank accounts of citizens on a mere suspicion that too for years till the inquiry drags is a violation of basic human rights.
If must, NAB can refer to its article 12 wherein it can order freeze of the assets of its suspects under inquiry.
While it is binding on the accountability body to expedite and get done with its investigation but the practice suggests that it takes years before the inquiry is complete, IHC notes.
How can the court let the people suffer only because one institution cannot do its work timely? Court inquired.
Although it is indeed the responsibility of the state to mete out punishment to those whose crimes are proven but at the same, it is also the state’s responsibility to ensure basic human rights such as allowing them to spend from their wealth, IHC said in its verdict today in NAB’s appeal against Sindh Bank’s ex-president Bilal Sheikh’s bank transaction.
The court has thus allowed Sindh Bank’s former head to use his account and draw funds from it.