NAB closes inquiries including Sharif Trust Case against Nawaz, family

NAB terminates probe under Section 31-B of National Accountability Act, 2022, as amended by PDM govt

By
Arfa Feroz Zake
(L to R) PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif at the stage during a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on October 21, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X@pmln_org
(L to R) PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif at the stage during a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on October 21, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X@pmln_org

  • NAB meeting, held under chairman, decides to close cases. 
  • Probe into Sharif Trust case was authorised in 2000.
  • Five other cases against different people also closed down. 


ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has closed six corruption inquiries including the Sharif Trust case filed against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and his family members. 

In a statement issued by the accountability body, the decision was made during the Executive Board Meeting (EBM) of the bureau, held on January 1, 2024, chaired by NAB Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmed Butt.

NAB said that it got the approval to terminate the Sharif Trust case. The investigation into the case was authorised on March 31, 2000, and the complaint alleged that the Sharif family had received large sums of money through illicit means in the Sharif Trust.

Additionally, it was claimed that the trust’s accounts had not undergone audit scrutiny and that funds had been misappropriated. The allegations further included the acquisition of assets by the Sharif family under the guise of benami properties held in the name of the trust.

In its report submitted to Supreme Court, the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe Panama Papers had criticised the NAB for delaying the investigation into the Sharif Trust case without proper justification. 

The JIT recommended that the NAB be directed to take swift action to complete the investigation.

Now, the bureau has terminated the investigation under Section 31-B of the National Accountability Act, 2022, as amended by the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government.

Section 31B states: “Withdrawal and Termination of Pending Proceedings: (1) Prior to the filing of a reference, the Chairman, NAB, in consultation with the Prosecutor General, may, having regard to the totality of facts, circumstances, and evidence, partly, wholly, conditionally, or unconditionally withdraw or terminate any proceedings under this Act if such proceedings are unjustified. 

"(2) After the filing of a reference, if the Chairman, NAB, in consultation with the Prosecutor General, is of the view that the reference is partly or wholly unjustified, he may recommend to the Court for approval where the matter is pending that the reference may partly or wholly be withdrawn or terminated, and upon such withdrawal or termination: (i) if it is made before a charge has been framed, the accused shall be discharged in respect of such offence or offences; and (ii) if it is made after a charge has been framed, he shall be acquitted in respect of such offence or offences.”

Other than that, NAB also closed the Safe City corruption case against Islamabad Inspector General (IG) Akbar Nasir Khan and the Park Enclave Housing Society case against officers/officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The accountability body also terminated the inquiries against the federal government officials regarding illegal appointments of favoured individuals, inquiries against Shahid Malik, Shahbaz Yaseen Malik, Saima Shehbaz Malik, and others.