What is the controversy surrounding NAB chairman’s extension?

Here are the amendments made to the NAB Ordinance

11:55 PM | 6 Oct, 2021
What is the controversy surrounding NAB chairman’s extension?

Amid a heightened debate over the appointment of the new NAB chairman, President Arif Alvi on Wednesday promulgated the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.

Here are some key features of the amended NAB ordinance:

  • NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal will continue to work on his current assignment until the government and the opposition complete consultations and pick the next nominee for the office.
  • The president will appoint the NAB chairman in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.
  • In case of failure to reach a consensus on the appointment, the matter will be sent to a 12-member parliamentary committee, consisting of six members each from the government and the opposition.
  • The new NAB chairman will be appointed for four years and his term may be extended.
  • The president has the authority to establish as many accountability courts in the country as he deems fit.
  • Judges to accountability courts will be appointed for a three-year term.
  • NAB will have no jurisdiction over private persons.
  • Any complaints of misconduct against the NAB chairman would be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council.
  • An amendment has also been made to protect bureaucracy from the NAB.
  • Prosecutor general’s role will be strengthened and after the amendment NAB will take advice from it.
  • The prosecutor will have to ensure fairness and fundamental rights in a case treatment.
  • All taxation matters will be transferred to the Federal Board of Revenue.
  • The government will set up 90 additional accountability courts as sought by the Supreme Court and 30 such courts have been set up.
  • The government is working on the method to appointment former judges to accountability courts.
  • District or additional district judges will be eligible to become NAB court judges.
  • The pool of NAB court judges will consist of retired judges of special courts and high courts, civil judges and additional district judges below 68 years of age.
  • NAB trial courts will have bail powers.
  • Those opting for voluntary return will face disqualification for 10 years and this amendment will take effect retroactively.
  • At future case management hearings, modern devices would be used for recording evidence and audio-video recording would be made of the entire testimony to ensure accuracy.
  • Provisions have been made to record the demeanour of any judge.
  • If a bank or financial institution takes any decision, the NAB will take no action on it until prior approval of the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.
  • Decisions of the Ecnec, the federal cabinet, Council of Common Interests and constitutional bodies will be out of NAB's authority.
  • Private disputes, banking disputes and tax evasion are no more NAB's domains and the watchdog will focus only on major corruption.

Javed Iqbal will remain NAB chairman until new ... 07:42 PM | 6 Oct, 2021

President Arif Alvi on Wednesday promulgated the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, under which NAB ...