–Top judge slams anti-graft watchdog for prolonging investigations, keeping innocent persons in jail for years
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday lashed out at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for prolonging investigations in corruption cases, saying the anti-graft watchdog “has become an exploitation firm which keeps its prisoners in jail for years without evidence”.
The CJP made these remarks while hearing a suo motu case pertaining to supply of clean drinking water in Sindh.
The court dissolved the SC-mandated Sindh Water Commission and directed the authorities to submit a quarterly report on the objectives that have been achieved so far.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Gulzar directed the commission to hand over its record and documents to the Sindh government.
The tenure of the commission on water and sanitation in Sindh ended in January last year, however the apex court renewed it observing that its objectives were yet to be completely accomplished.
The court said that steps should be taken for effective legislation on clean water supply, adding that hundreds of thousands rupees were plundered and not a single RO plant was installed.
During the course of proceedings, NAB submitted report on alleged corruption in installation of RO plants. The court ordered it to complete references regarding cases and other matters in a month.
The CJP said that there was no need to form a commission over the matter. He also expressed annoyance over NAB’s performance, saying that instead of 4 witnesses, NAB made 200 witnesses in the case. He said that the cases should be decided in one year but here NAB had taken six years.
The chief justice said that NAB should be fined billions of rupees and this penalty amount should be collected from NAB employees as the the government would not give a single rupee.
“NAB does not have the ability to work. Its investigating officers simply did not have the capacity to carry out the investigation to its logical end,” he said.
Addressing the NAB prosecutor, the chief justice recalled a case in which a man committed suicide. He said that the NAB did not file challan against the real culprit, forcing an innocent person to take his own life.
Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan asked what was the ratio of conviction in NAB cases? The NAB prosecutor responded that the conviction rate was 70 percent.