ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice has demanded amendment in the clauses regarding voluntary return (VR) and plea bargain (PB) of NAB ordinance 1999 as it is projecting corruption in the country. The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice met here on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Javed Abbasi.
Senator Farhat Ullah Babar of Pakistan Peoples Party raised the issue that under section 25 of NAB that deals with voluntary return and plea bargain was against the department’s mandate. The basic function of National Accountability Bureau is to stop corruption but instead it is projecting corruption. He said that former Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Raisani who was involved in a corruption scam but he paid Rs 2 billion through plea bargain to NAB. He said the NAB Chairman has excess powers and he could take the final decision for determining the amount for the plea bargain.
The chair of the panel said that the NAB ordinance was brought by dictators, which is being used as a pressurizing tactics so far. NAB Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar said that Raisani, as provincial secretary, allocated Rs 6 billion for two union councils of the province but only Rs 3.1 billion were released. He said that NAB recovered Rs 3.5 billion in assets and cash from Raisani and his cohorts, including 11 bungalows located at Defense Karachi.
NAB Director General Zahir Shah informed the committee that NAB transfers recovered the amount and assets to the respective federal or provincial departments. He said that initially VR and PB law was not for governmental officials as it was only meant for loan defaulters. But on the court’s order, government officials were also included in the clause. He said the majority of the amount was recovered from IPPs last year.
Senator Aitzaz Ahsan raised the question that has NAB investigated the matter regarding the transfer of illegal money to Hassan Nawaz, son of Nawaz Sharif. The Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid blamed Ahsan for deteriorating the atmosphere of the panel for getting media attention.