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January 2, 2020

IHC seeks reply from NAB over fresh amendments to ordinance

Top Story

January 2, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday sought a reply from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) about protection to bureaucrats through the fresh amendments to NAB Ordinance and extended the interim bail of former federal minister and JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani.

A division bench of IHC conducted the hearing on Akram Durrani’s plea seeking extension in his interim bail. During the hearing, Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Akram Durrani was holding a public office while the principal accounts officer of the ministry was a secretary who was holding all powers. The chief justice asked the NAB that whether it had also arrested the principal accounts officer. He asked how a public office-holder is arrested under the same law.

The NAB prosecutor said the secretary was also an accused in this case. The bench remarked that the bureaucrats, who had all the powers, had been protected through the amendment to NAB Ordinance, while inquiry was initiated against the person having no powers, for misuse of authority. The NAB prosecutor told the bench that arrest warrants were issued against Durrani in an illegal appointment inquiry, not in a case pertaining to holding assets beyond known sources of income. He prayed the court togrant some time to submit NAB's fresh reply.

Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the NAB has to convince the court under the new accountability law. The IHC chief justice asked the NAB official that whether the accused Akram Durrani was cooperating with the NAB investigation. The prosecutor said the accused was appearing before the NAB constantly, but he was not cooperating with the investigation team. The court extended the interim bail of Durrani till January 15, and sought fresh reply from the NAB.