Nawaz Sharif serves legal notice to NAB chief

Nawaz Sharif serves legal notice to NAB chief

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif sent a legal notice on Thursday to National Accountability Bureau Chairperson Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal for issuing a statement that accused him of illegally sending $4.9 billion to India.

The legal notice states that the NAB chief issued a false and defamatory press release on May 8 on the basis of media reports that Nawaz sent $4.9 billion to India through money laundering after which foreign exchange reserves of India were increased and losses were inflicted to Pakistan's national exchequer.

The press release cited World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Factbook, 2016, but as per the notice the World Bank report does not contain any such alleged information.

According to the notice, Nawaz is neither mentioned in the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Factbook, 2016 nor any other official document, despite that “he was connected with the alleged money laundering with the intention to malign him and cause him political damage”.

The notice has been served under Section 8 of Defamation Ordinance, 2002, which allows a person to demand action on defamatory matter against him/her.

The NAB chief has been asked to publish a comprehensive and proper apology in two English and the same number of Urdu dailies and also broadcast his apology in the same manner and with the same prominence as the earlier transmission.

Justice (retd) Iqbal has also been asked to pay Rs1 billion in damages to Nawaz on account of the defamatory publications and for the subsequent losses.

According to the notice, failing to do so will result in civil and criminal proceedings against NAB chief and his institution for maladministration under relevant laws. 

Earlier, Nawaz demanded the NAB chief to present proof or resign from office.

“The NAB chairperson should present all evidence against me within 24 hours,” Nawaz said while addressing an emergency press conference at the Punjab House on May 10. “If you fail to present evidence, then you should publicly apologise to the nation and resign.”

However, the NAB chief said it is not a crime to probe into corruption.

"We shall continue to do so even if it is considered a crime by anyone," he said in an apparent reference to Nawaz’s criticism regarding the enqirui against him and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India.