ISLAMABAD: The NAB Amendment Bill 2023 has become a formal law after completion of the 10-day constitutional period, it became a law without the signature of the President. The joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament had passed the bill on May 15, and after the completion of 10 days, it became a law automatically without the signatures of president. President Dr Arif Alvi had sent back the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2023 to parliament for reconsideration after observing that the amendments brought about earlier in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 were sub-judice before the Supreme Court.
Following the return of the bill, the government took up the NAB Amendment Bill, 2023 in a joint session of the Parliament on May 15, where it was approved through majority voice vote. And, now after passage of 10 days, it was enacted as a law without the signature of the president and came into effect.
Under the new law, the NAB chairman would be able to send cases that do not come under his jurisdiction to the relevant institutions, and if there is no concrete evidence, he will be able to close any inquiry. The law stated that in the absence of the chairman, the deputy chairman will be the acting chairman and if there is no deputy chairman, the federal government will be able to appoint a senior NAB officer as the acting chairman.
The amendments made to the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2023 state that all pending inquiries should be examined by the chief. As per bill, if the chairman is satisfied that no case is made out against an accused, and the investigation may be closed, he would refer the matter to the court for approval and for the release of the accused, if in custody.
The bill stated that where the chairman is of the opinion that prima facie case is made out against an accused under any other law for the time being in force, he would refer the matter to the relevant agency, authority or department, as the case may be, said the bill. The amendment in Section 6 says, “Provided that as and when the office of the Chairman NAB falls vacant or when the ‘Chairman NAB is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office; due to any ‘reason whatsoever, the deputy chairman NAB shall act as chairman NAB and in absence of deputy chairman NAB, the federal government shall appoint an acting chairman NAB from amongst the senior officers of the NAB.”
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