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November 12, 2019

NAB reply sought on plea against powers to probe money laundering cases

National

November 12, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday sought parawise comments from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on petition challenging its powers to investigate offences falling under the purview of Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2010.

A man arrested by the NAB in a money laundering case against businessman Iqbal Ahmad questioned the bureau’s jurisdiction through petition filed under Article 199 of the Constitution.

Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique argued that Section 20 of AMLA stated that the court of sessions, established under CrPC, shall have the jurisdiction wherein allegedly the offence of money-laundering was committed.

He said the NAB could investigate such offence unless it fell within the proviso of Section 20(1) (a) of AMLA, which stated that the predicate offence could be tried by any court other than the sessions court.

Therefore, he argued that the NAB had no jurisdiction to arrest the petitioner as the offence fell within the jurisdictional powers and territorial limits of district & sessions judge Lahore under Section 20(1) of AMLA.

The counsel submitted that the NAB acted wrongly under and following the procedure provided in its ordinance for arresting the petitioner since a specific procedure to that effect was clearly provided in the AMLA.

He asked the court to declare the arrest of the petitioner illegal and the power exercised by the NAB to invoke the AMLA. After hearing the arguments, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi sought parawise comments from the NAB by November 25.

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