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Suspects rush to seek relief after approval of NAB ordinance from accountability court

ISLAMABAD : Suspects involved in different cases have approached the accountability court of Islamabad to seek relief after the issuance of the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2021.

Suspects are of the view that as NAB’s jurisdiction has ended, all cases should be disposed off.

The accused in the LNG reference have also sought removal of the case on the basis of the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2021.

Accountability court-II Islamabad judge Muhammad Azam Khan conducted hearing on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import contract case on Tuesday.

During the proceedings, the accused requested the court to dismiss the case on basis of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2021.

The accountability court issued a notice to NAB, seeking a detailed reply from the bureau.

Chaudhry Aslam — the CEO of a private airline — has also requested that his name be removed from the reference as a private person.

Meanwhile, NAB representatives opposed the appeal to dispose of the reference. The court has summoned detailed arguments from the both parties on 26th October on the next hearing of the case. On next hearing of the case the court will decide the matter.

On the other hand, while talking to media after court appearance, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that country’s economy is collapsing but Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet members do not care.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that chairman of NAB retired four days ago but government has still not initiated consultation for the new head of the anti-graft watchdog because the government wants to keep the incumbent chairman as he is tasked to target opposition.

It is worth mentioning here that last week, President Dr. Arif Alvi promulgated the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, under which the NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal will continue to serve the post, until a new chairman is appointed and will also be eligible to be renamed as chairman.

Under the new ordinance, the president has the authority to establish as many accountability courts in the country as he deems fit.

Judges to the accountability courts will be appointed for a three-year term, the ordinance states.

The NAB law will not extend to matters pertaining to federal, provincial and local taxation after such matters were removed from under its purview.

Furthermore, decisions pertaining to the Council of Common Interests, (CCI), National Economic Council (NEC), National Finance Commission (NFC) and Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), besides those of Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) will also no longer fall within NAB’s jurisdiction.