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Agencies
October 24, 2018

Why NAB getting politicised, asks SC

Top Story

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Agencies
October 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its "double standards" and questioned why the corruption watchdog had become "politicised".

A three-member bench of the apex court made these remarks after hearing a petition for bail filed by Sarang Latif, a section officer of the Sindh Ministry for Information. After turning down the petitioner's bail request, the bench censured the NAB.

"It seems as if the NAB is in no mood to proceed with this trial," Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked, before asking: "Who is the prosecutor for this case?" An additional prosecutor told the judge that the lead prosecutor was from Karachi and he did not know his name. "(This) is a case concerning Rs5 billion," Justice Gulzar said. "It looks like the local prosecutor takes his money, shows up in court and leaves," he remarked.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa observed that "NAB's conduct is not the same in every case." "In some cases NAB goes the extra mile, but in others it does not seem to care. Why is NAB getting politicised?" he asked. Justice Gulzar also questioned why the NAB so often offers plea bargains.

"NAB does not seem to want to do anything; it has put everyone in misery," he said. "Millions of rupees of this nation are spent on NAB. Has it ever accomplished anything other than plea bargains? Let us know just one case where it has made a recovery," he observed.

Justice Isa suggested that a case should be registered against "the top officials of NAB" for their handling of the Mushtaq Ahmad Raisani case, from whose Quetta residence more than Rs730 million had been recovered in 2016.

"NAB wanted to strike a plea bargain even with a person from whose home billions were recovered," he recalled. Justice Gulzar further recalled that when the Supreme Court rejected bail requests in the Raisani case, NAB had approached subordinate courts and secured bail anyway.