Saturday December 04, 2021

Supreme Court takes notice of illegal appointments in NAB

August 06, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was told Wednesday that Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi Irfan Naeem Mangi does not have the required qualification or experience for the important slot in the anti-graft body.

The qualification of Irfan Mangi came to the surface when a two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa heard the bail application of plea of an accused Muhammad Nadeem, who had disguised himself as a NAB officer and used to cheat people for getting favours in many matters.

The court, while taking notice of the alleged illegal appointments in the anti-graft body, issued notice to the attorney general. Justice Qazi Faez Isa asked deputy prosecutor general NAB as to how the NAB chairman bypassed the Constitution and law while making such appointments.

The court observed that Section 28(g) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 is ultra vires to Article 240 of the Constitution. Article 240 of the Constitution relates to appointments to service of Pakistan and conditions of service.

“Under which NAB law, the appointments were made,” Justice Faez Isa remarked, adding that NAB Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal is not a judge anymore, hence they can call him to court and question him.

The court sought details regarding the appointment of all director generals (DGs) of the NAB. The court questioned as to how Irfan Naeem Mangi was appointed despite not apparently having the qualifications for the job.

According to NAB, three different FIRs had been lodged against the accused Muhammad Nadeem, including making calls to the MD PSO calling himself as DG Irfan Mangi for getting favours in different matters.

Similarly, a reference had also been filed by the NAB against the accused for cheating public at large. At the outset of hearing, Justice Qazi Faez Isa asked DG NAB Rawalpindi Irfan Mangi about his education as well as salary he is drawing for the said slot. But surprisingly, Mangi informed the court he is an engineer by profession and draws salary Rs 420,000 per month as DG NAB, Rawalpindi.

To a court query, he said that he has no experience in criminal cases. At this, Justice Qazi Faez Isa took strong exception to the appointments in NAB and questioned as to how can an engineer sit at such an important position in the Bureau?

The judge asked Imranul Haq, Deputy Prosecutor NAB, as to how the accused, Mohammad Nadeem, a “semi-literate person from Bahawalpur”, could call up senior public and private officials pretending to be a Bureau officer.

“The accused only owns a buffalo; how did he get the contact numbers of high-ranking NAB officials,” Justice Faez Isa asked. Justice Faez Isa further asked on whose recommendation was Irfan Mangi appointed? “NAB is run on public money and they are all workers for the people,” the judge added.

The judge observed that everyone sitting on an important position was running his own agenda. He recalled that the court had given many opportunities to the anti-graft body, however, still illegal activities are going on in the Bureau. Justice Faez Isa further observed that due to incompetent officers of NAB, many innocent people are languishing in jails.

Justice Faez Isa noted that the NAB’s name is enough to scare people. The NAB prosecutor however, submitted that the Bureau was doing its work according to the law. To this, Faez Justice Isa remarked that it seemed the court would have to conduct law classes for NAB, adding that no rules and regulations have been made since 1999.

Justice Mushir Alam observed that initial statement of any of the witnesses has not yet been recorded in this case. The judge questioned as to whether forensic test of the phone calls of the accused has been conducted or not. The investigation officer replied that its report is still awaited. The court accepted the bail application of the accused and adjourned the hearing for date-in-office.