SC bars NAB from exercising `plea bargain' powers    


ISLAMABAD: (APP) The Supreme Court on Monday restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from using its powers under which the anti-corruption watchdog can drop charges against unscrupulous persons through voluntary return and plea bargain deals .

The court also directed the NAB to submit details of accused, who were acquitted by the Bureau under plea bargain and voluntarily return deals during last ten years.

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A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed heard the suo-moto case regarding the transfer of voluntary refund to the NAB under plea bargain in corruption cases.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that even the court was not entitled to exercise the powers the NAB was using under the plea bargain and voluntary return.

Justice Amir Hani Mulsim remarked that the NAB received 25 per cent of the money returned through plea bargain.

Prosecutor General NAB Waqas Qadeer Dar informed the court that the NAB was not receiving the 25 per cent of returned amount.

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Justice Ameer Hani Muslim said the NAB chairman was more powerful with respect to appointments than the chief executive of the country.

The Chief Justice remarked that NAB 's slogan seemed to be"commit corruption and then go for plea bargain".

The court ordered a ban on the transfer of such voluntary return of funds to the NAB , observing that the NAB gave a free hand to the suspects to engage in corruption again through voluntary refund plea bargain and it let the suspects free after receiving the money itself.

The corruption was encouraged by according powers to the NAB Chairman as everything had gone down the drain, Justice Amir Hani Muslim commented.

The Chief Justice observed that those investigated by the NAB were being promoted, those opting for the voluntary refund were members of the parliament or were holding extremely high positions .

Later hearing of the case was adjourned till November 7.



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