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Which amendments are made in NAB Ordinance 2021?

President Arif Alvi promulgated NAB Amendment Ordinance 2021 to extend the tenure of NAB chairman and other accountability laws. 

The ordinance is amended for the clarity and transparency of the NAB laws to make the accountability process more accurate and justified. Following are the changes done to ordinance:

President will appoint Chairman NAB 

According to the principle enshrined in the National Accountability Ordinance (Amendment) ordinance 2021, the president has the prerogative in appointing the new Chairman with the consultation of Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly. In case of failure to reach consensus, a parliamentary committee formed by Speaker National Assembly comprising of members of treasury and opposition bench will decide the matter.

The ordinance, approved in federal cabinet, relates to the appointment of Chairman NAB. Under the new ordinance, the president has the authority to establish as many accountability courts which he thinks is right. As per ordinance, the chairman can send his resignation to the President himself and can be removed, like the judges of Supreme Court by the Supreme Judicial Council.

Suspect’s bail

Any offence conducted by the responsible is non-bailable, only the accountability court can decide or have power to grant bail to the accused on the deposition of equal amount of money in which he is accused of corruption. Moreover, the court will hear the case on daily basis.

Role of Prosecutor-General

Furthermore, reference filled by the Chairman NAB in accountability court should be submitted with consultation of Prosecutor General, though it can be filled in any accountability courts present in the country.

Accountability court judges can be appointed for the tenure of three years. The decision taken by any federal, provincial or local taxation does not falls under the scope of NAB. Public or government plans regarding any irregularities in the rules of NAB will also going to be conduct outside its jurisdiction.

Not applicable to constitutional bodies

The provisions of the ordinance are not applicable to federal, provincial or local taxation. The decisions of the federal cabinet, Council of Common Interests (CCI), and other constitutional bodies cannot be probed by the anti-graft watchdog.

The decision of the National Economic Council (NEC), National Finance Commission (NFC), and Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), Central Development Working Party (CDWP), Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP), Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP), and State Bank of Pakistan will not be probed.

Private individuals 

Even the ordinance principles are not bound to apply to any person who is directly or indirectly connected with the holder of public office.

Moreover, in case the management and trail offences section, it is mentioned that the case of any person who is contained under any offence shall be heard day and should be disposed of within the period of six months.

Another amendment included in the ordinance of NAB clarifies that, Chairman NAB with consultation of Prosecutor-General can terminate the proceedings of any trial if it’s found that the facts, references and evidence presented are lacking totality and veracity.

After the amendment, Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal will remain on the post till the appointment of the new chairman.