CJP expresses concern over NAB exemption for those involved in Rs490m graft
According to new amendment, NAB can't act against those involved in less than Rs500 million
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial has expressed concern over the closure of Rs490 million corruption cases by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice, heard the case regarding the NAB amendments on Thursday.
During the hearing, Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan argued that there were issues regarding the retrospective application of the NAB amendments.
He pointed out that there was no prohibition in the Constitution against the retrospective application of legislation.
The chief justice of Pakistan questioned why the amnesty scheme was exempted from the NAB Ordinance.
Furthermore, he requested arguments related to the NAB amendments concerning references against benamidar (unnamed) accounts.
The definition of benamidar has been changed in the NAB amendments, and now it is mandatory for the prosecution to prove whether benami property was created through corruption.
Makhdoom Ali Khan, referring to Justice Mansoor Ali Shah's decision in the Khurshid Shah case, emphasised that not every unnamed (benamidar) transaction was a corrupt transaction. He stated that if allegations of corruption were being made, the prosecution must provide evidence to prove the corruption.
The chief justice added that it was essential to determine whether the accused's source of income was consistent with his assets. If the source of income is unknown, it cannot be proven as a crime.
Another concern raised during the hearing was the transparency of the plea bargain process for cases involving amounts less than Rs500 million. The chief justice remarked that it's alarming that individuals involved in Rs490 million could escape punishment from the NAB.
Makhdoom Ali Khan explained that the limit of Rs500 million was set for NAB cases based on observations from various superior courts.
The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow (Friday).