NAB gets power to detain accused for 30 days under new amendment

NAB chairman will be able to issue arrest warrants for accused for non-cooperation during investigations

By
Asif Bashir Chaudhary
This undated handout picture, available on the official website, shows the headquarters of the National Accountability Bureau, Islamabad. —NAB website
This undated handout picture, available on the official website, shows the headquarters of the National Accountability Bureau, Islamabad. —NAB website

  • NAB ordinance promulgated around midnight.
  • Accused can be detained up to 30 days.
  • PTI chief, wife summoned by antigraft body.


ISLAMABAD: The government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif further amended the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws, allowing the antigraft watchdog to detain accused for 30 days.

Acting President Sadiq Sanjrani signed the NAB (Amendment) Ordinance 2023 in the dead of night after the federal cabinet's approval.

According to the ordinance, the NAB chairman can issue arrest warrants for the accused for non-cooperation during investigations.

In June 2022, the coalition government introduced changes in the NAB law, reducing the duration of physical remand from 90 days to 14 days.

There’s no clarification from the authorities as to what the urgency to change the law was.

It is pertinent to mention that no presidential ordinance can be issued while the National Assembly is in session.

Technically, the assembly was not prorogued after the passage of the National Budget on June 24, as it was adjourned till July 17.

However, the session, according to a report in The News, was suddenly prorogued on Monday evening to make the issuance of the Ordinance possible.

NAB summons PTI chief

Meanwhile, NAB Rawalpindi has also summoned former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Imran Khan, today (Tuesday) in two different cases.

The PTI chief is directed to appear before the watchdog in the Toshakhana case and Bushra Bibi in a £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) UK settlement case.

Imran Khan and his wife were summoned thrice, but they skipped their appearance in the cases by seeking fresh dates.