Amended NAB law protects bureaucrats, penalises ‘powerless’ ministers: IHC CJ - Pakistan Today

Amended NAB law protects bureaucrats, penalises ‘powerless’ ministers: IHC CJ

–Justice Minallah says no suspect can be convicted without fair trial, extends Durrani’s bail

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Wednesday criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for presenting arrested suspects as convicted persons, saying no suspect could be sentenced without giving them a fair trial.

While hearing the interim bail petition of former federal minister and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) leader Akram Khan Durrani, the IHC CJ also sought a reply from NAB regarding the protection granted to bureaucrats through the recent amendments in NAB Ordinance.

Chief Justice Minallah remarked that Akram Durrani had been holding public office while the principal accounts officer of the ministry was a federal secretary who was holding all powers. The CJ asked NAB if it had moved against the principal accounts officer to which he was informed that he was also an accused in the case.

The bench remarked that bureaucrats who had all the powers had been protected through the amendment in NAB Ordinance while an inquiry had been initiated against a person having no powers for misuse of authority.

The NAB prosecutor told the bench that arrest warrants had been issued against Durrani in the illegal appointments inquiry, not in a case pertaining to holding assets beyond his known sources of income. He prayed the court to grant some time to submit NAB’s fresh reply after the amendments in the ordinance.

The chief justice asked the NAB official whether Durrani was cooperating with the NAB investigation, to which the prosecutor said that the accused was appearing before NAB constantly but he was not cooperating with the investigation team.

Subsequently, the court extended Durrani’s interim bail till January 15, and sought fresh reply from NAB.

PRE-ARREST BAIL OF SHARJEEL MEMON EXTENDED:

Meanwhile, the IHC extended pre-arrest bail of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sharjeel Memon till January 7 in the Roshan Sindh corruption case.

During the hearing, Memon’s lawyer said that his client is cooperating with NAB officials and the institution should be stopped from arresting him. He pleaded the court to approve his pre-arrest bail until the completion of the hearing.



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