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Friday October 07, 2022

NAB Ordinance amended again: PM gets power to remove NAB chief

The NAB Third Amend Ordinance would come into force at once, and the amendments would be deemed to have taken effect on and from Oct 6, 2021.

November 02, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Less than a month after the promulgation of the ordinance, amending the NAB laws, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government made further amendments to the ordinance as President Dr Arif Ali Alvi promulgated the National Accountability (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 on Monday through which the powers of removing the NAB chairman have been withdrawn from the Supreme Judicial Council and vested in the President.

The NAB Third Amend Ordinance would come into force at once, and the amendments would be deemed to have taken effect on and from Oct 6, 2021; therefore, NAB would hear all cases of fraud from before October 6, as per the amended ordinance, while old cases of fake accounts would continue as before.

The issuance of the NAB Ordinance on October 6 had created ambiguity in the NAB rules, after which the law ministry had formed a committee to explain the ordinance.

In the promulgated NAB’s Third amendment ordinance, the cases of fraud and deception have been given back to NAB, while Modaraba cases have also been given back to NAB.

The clause 2 (b) ordinance stated: “Provided that notwithstanding, anything contained in any provision of ordinance, all proceedings including inquiries, investigations, references, or trials commenced under this ordinance, prior to the 6th of October 2021, in relation to offence under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 (VII of 2010), shall be dealt in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance, which existed prior to the 6th day of the October, 2021: Provided further that in relation to any proceedings, including reference or trial covered by the first proviso above, the courts under this ordinance shall have jurisdiction to enforce the Anti-Money laundering Act 2010 (VII of 2010).

The NAB ordinance would not provide any relief to former president Asif Ali Zardari, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and all money laundering cases and proceedings will continue as before.

Under the ordinance, the power to remove NAB chairman has been withdrawn from the Supreme Judicial Council and the power to remove NAB chairman will be vested in the President.

The term of office of NAB chairman will be 4 years while the removal of the NAB chairman will have the same ground of removal a Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan .

The NAB court has also been given the power to fix bail under the Third NAB Amendment Ordinance. The promulgated NAB Third amendment Ordinance read as, “Provided that where accused person is released on bail, the amount of surety shall be fixed in the manner just and fit by the court.” As per NAB Third Amendment ordinance, evidence should be recorded in the old way till the installation of electronic devices.

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