Thursday, December 9, 2021

Supreme Court requested to invalidate NAB ordinance

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ISLAMABAD: Another petition challenging the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance, 2019 was moved in the Supreme Court on Monday, ARY News reported.

The petition states that the ordinance in question negates the principle of the rule of law and various constitutional provisions of human rights.

“The NAB ordinance is a conspiracy to divide society,” argues the petitioner, requesting the top court to strike it down.

The federal government, the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), the NAB, and the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) have been impleaded as respondents in the constitutional petition.

Earlier, on Dec 28, a citizen Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi had filed a petition at the Karachi Registry of the apex court challenging the amended law.

President Dr Arif Alvi had signed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2019 into law last Friday.

The petitioner has made the Government of Pakistan, Secretary Ministry of Law and Justice, secretaries of Cabinet Division, Ministry of Interior, Establishment Division, Chairman NAB, Director General Headquarters NAB and others as party in the case.

The petitioner said, “All citizens are equal in the constitution of Pakistan, the amended ordinance is violation of the constitution and the fundamental rights of citizens”.

The federal cabinet’s approval to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance 2019, is unprincipled and dubious, the petition said. “The amended ordinance has pushed the NAB under the subordination of the scrutiny committee, petitioner said which will thoroughly affect the utility and importance of the accountability bureau”.

“It is being feared that the ordinance will affect the possibility of equal accountability of all,” the petition said.

“It is cooked up to protect favorite people from accountability cases,” the petition claimed.

According to the amended law, the NAB could not freeze the properties of government employees without a court order.

If NAB fails to complete investigation against a suspect within three months, the accused will be entitled to bail, the law said.

The anti-graft watchdog’s jurisdiction over matters relating to imports and levy has been curtailed in the amended law.

As per the new ordinance, NAB will now only be able to proceed in corruption cases of Rs500 million and more.

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