President takes back authority to remove NAB chairman

Web Desk
A file photo of the National Accountability Bureau office.
A file photo of the National Accountability Bureau office.
  • SJC authority to remove NAB chairman taken back, given to president.
  • National Accountability (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 releases after approval from President Arif Alvi.
  • In new draft, cases pertaining to cheating and fraud handed back to NAB.

ISLAMABAD: The power to remove the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman from office has been withdrawn from the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and given back to the president, as per the National Accountability (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, which has been approved by President Arif Alvi.

The third NAB ordinance was issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice on Monday.

The NAB chairman's tenure, as per the new ordinance, will be of four years. The criteria for the removal of a NAB chairman will be the same as the one for the removal of a Supreme Court judge, according to the new Ordinance

According to it, cases of fraud, deception and Modaraba cases have been given back to NAB.

It shall come into force at once and the amendments shall be deemed to have taken effect on and from October 6, 2021. Therefore, NAB will hear all cases of fraud from before October 6, as per the amended Ordinance, while old cases of fake accounts can continue as before.

The SJC had previously been empowered to remove the NAB chairman.

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 NAB Ordinance.

Evidence should be recorded in the old way till the installation of electronic devices, the amended Ordinance read. It added that the NAB court was also given the power to fix bail.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Maryam Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif did not get any relief as per the NAB ordinance. All pre-established money laundering cases against them will continue as before.