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Federal cabinet approves NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019

Federal cabinet approves NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019
December 27, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The federal cabinet has approved the proposal of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2019 on Friday. According to the details garnered, the summary was approved from the members by circulation. The federal government has decided to amend the NAB law immediately. The Ministry of Law sent a summary after consulting with Prime Minister Imran Khan. Ministry of Law and Justice has sent the proposal of NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019 to Prime Minister (PM) Office. It also decided that the NAB law will be amended through the Presidential Ordinance. The special committee – formed by the prime minister – drafted 31 amendments to amend in the NAB law. Through amendment of law, no action directly will be taken against ministers, members of the parliament, bureaucracy and government officials. This amendment will remove authority of the anti-graft watchdog from the tax, stock market and IPOs matters. The proposal stated that the NAB will be able to take action against corruption of over 500 million rupees. No action will be launched against government employees in case of departmental deficiencies, it read. The proposal further added that the assets of government workers cannot be seized unless directed by the court and if NAB inquiry is incomplete after three months, the detained public servant will have right of bail. 92 News already broadcasted this breaking news on December 2 regarding amendment of law in the NAB Act. Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office has sent the copy of proposed amendments in the NAB Ordinance to all ministers and sought their input in this regard. According to the sources, the prime minister wanted to introduce amendments in NAB Ordinance 1999 and he had sought suggestions from them. The sources also said that the PM Office now shared the draft of proposed amendments in NAB Ordinance with all ministers and asked them to submit their written input regarding the amendments. In the proposed changes, that 90 days’ physical custody period of accused government servant under section 24 be reduced to 45 days and exclude the jurisdiction the NAB Authorities in relation to taxation, stock exchange/stock market including IPOs and building control because appropriate action can be taken by the FBR, SECP and Building Control Authorities, respectively. Earlier, the government will bring ordinance on an amendment to the NAB laws if the opposition parties don’t cooperate. “The amendment to the NAB laws is need of the hour as it will bring positive change,” said Law and Justice Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem. Talking to host  Shazia Ikraam in News Night program of 92 News, he said opposition parties floated suggestion to fix time frame for NAB cases, adding prosecution couldn’t be executed twice on one case. Naseem said there should be no compromise over the accountability process, adding NAB should not be used as weapon to intimidate and harass anyone. He said he suggested to the prime minister that bureaucrats should replace ministers in the plea-bargain committee. The minister said the president of Pakistan has to decide himself if deadlock persists over the appointment of Election Commission members as law is silent over this matter. To a question, he said neither he not any member of his ministry sent WhatsApp message to any judge. Naseem further said he never ever discussed any case with any judge.