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Thursday Dec 17 2020
Web Desk

Supreme Court slams NAB for 'selectively applying its laws' on people

Web Desk
  • Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the bureau has thrown one person in jail for 20 months while the main accused is roaming freely
  • Justice Bandial said that due to the actions of NAB, businesses have stopped coming to Pakistan 
  • Court observed that NAB has failed to explain its reasoning for not arresting 27 others accused in the case.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday slammed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for 'selectively applying its law on individuals.'

The SC issued the remarks while hearing a bail plea filed by Dr Dinshaw and Jameel Baloch in a fake bank accounts case registered against them.

During the hearing, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the court is not satisfied with NAB’s performance in the present case.

“A person is in jail for 20 months, while the main accused is roaming freely,” observed Justice Bandial.

In response, NAB's prosecutor said that the accountability watchdog has only arrested those individuals who either refused to cooperate with the authorities or rejected a plea bargain.

Read more: SC summons details of all NAB Lahore pending cases

“NAB's attitude, in this case, shows partiality,” said Justice Sajjad Ali Shah upon hearing the comments of NAB's lawyer. He added that the bureau’s attitude reflects its mindset.

Justice Mazhar Ali Akber, who was also part of the hearing, said that the bureau arrested an elderly person like Dr Dinshaw but let 27 others go scot-free.

“This is the reason why everyone is talking about NAB [negatively] all day long,” said Justice Akber.

Justice Bandial agreed and said that due to the actions of the accountability watchdog, businessmen have stopped coming in Pakistan because of apprehensions.

"Pakistan should learn from the example of Japan where law and accountability go hand in hand," he said.

Addressing NAB's prosecutor, the court said that the bureau arrested a man from a motorway, making it seem as if he was about to flee the country.

In response, NAB's prosecutor said that the bureau did not arrest him.

Read more: SC raises questions on appointment of senior NAB official

“Apart from you and the chairman of NAB, name one person who praises the bureau,” Justice Sajjad Ali Shah asked the prosecutor, adding that the accused NAB authorities arrested are mere “puppets”.

The court also observed that the bureau also failed to explain the reason for not arresting 27 other people who have been accused in the fake bank accounts case.

“Some are arrested for petty accusations but some roam freely despite committing major crimes,” said justice Bandial. "Public office holders should be held accountable. NAB is applying its laws selectively."