‘NAB filed 339 references in 2016, 98 decided’


National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed 339 references in respective accountability courts (ACs) during the last year out of which 98 references were decided.

It was disclosed at the first Deputy Prosecutor Generals Accountability (DPGA) Conference held here on Tuesday. NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry chaired the conference which was also attended by deputy chairman and NAB prosecutor general accountability (PGA).

In his presentation, the PGA highlighted performance of Prosecution Wing and informed that since 2014, NAB has been rejuvenated/reinvigorated. The conference was informed that of the total, 98 references were decided and conviction ratio was 80.26 per cent. During 2016, in respective high courts, ratio of maintainability at appeals level had come up as 48.5 per cent and at writ petition level, success ratio rose to 78.7 per cent.

Similarly, the appellant matters at Supreme Court of Pakistan have success ratio of 54.1 per cent with 66 CPs in favour of NAB and 53 CPs against NAB. During the year, the overall ratio of maintainability in all respectable courts had come to 75.5 per cent.

In his address, the NAB chairman said an efficient and firm prosecution was critical to idea of effective deterrence against corruption. He said the NAB has devised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to rationalize workload and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases putting a maximum limit of 10 months – from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to-investigation and finally to a reference in accountability court.

The chairman said in order to ensure uniformity and standardization, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigation officers were reviewed and revised after a gap of 10 years.

He said to benefit from experience and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers, a system of Combine Investigation Team (CIT), comprising director, additional director, investigation officer and a senior legal counsel has been put in place.

This has not only lent quality to work but also ensure that no single individual can influence proceedings. The chairman said an effort has been made to integrate prosecutor into process of investigation so as to institute very strong and water-tight cases. He said analysis of cases decided against NAB needed to be carried out by Prosecution Division of NAB.

The DPGA’s will have to explain reasons for loopholes in investigation or prosecution leading to a judgment against NAB. He directed all DPGAs to have proper preparation of all the cases and present viewpoint of NAB according to law with complete documents/evidence in cases before courts.

He said that the NAB strongly believed in zero-tolerance policy against corruption. ‘NAB’s Anti-corruption campaign is carried widely for awareness and prevention of corruption besides enforcement’. He said that he hoped that joint efforts could collaborate to check corruption and corrupt practices before happening with help of all stakeholders, civil society, media and people at large.