NAB recovered Rs36.3b through plea bargain in over four years

Settled 582 corruption cases, with Punjab and Islamabad topping the chart

Danish Hussain September 22, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) recovered Rs36.3 billion through plea bargain in 582 cases of corruption during the last over four years.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid on Thursday placed before the National Assembly the details of inquiries, investigations, plea bargain cases, voluntary return of embezzled public money, and corruption references the accountability watchdog processed from 2013 to March 2017.

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According to the details, NAB exercised the plea bargain option in 235 corruption cases (40%) collectively in Punjab and the federal capital, 204 cases (35%) in Sindh, 130 cases (22%) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and 13 cases (2%) in Balochistan.

The details also revealed that majority of the settlements under the plea bargain occurred in 2016, where NAB settled some 224 corruption cases (recovering an amount of Rs12.7 billion) followed by 172 cases in 2015 (recovering Rs12.1 billion). Within the first three months of the current year, NAB processed a total of nine corruption cases under this scheme.

Collectively, the NAB recovered some Rs36.3 billion through these plea bargaining deals during this time period and submitted the same to the national exchequer.

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From 2013 to March 2017, NAB also filed some 948 corruption references – 384 in Punjab and Islamabad, 344 in Sindh, 153 in K-P and 67 in Balochistan. Majority of these references (some 585 cases) were filed in 2015 and 2016.

During the same time period, NAB authorised some 3,035 inquires –284 in 2013; 887 in 2014; 845 in 2015; 914 in 2016; and 105 in the first three months of 2017.

Similarly, a total of 1,251 investigations were also authorised during the last over four years – 124 in 2013; 226 in 2014; 452 in 2015; and 389 in 2016.

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In 2016, the Supreme Court had questioned the plea bargain scheme saying the practice had given rise to corruption in the country. Following that, the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, was amended and it was made mandatory that any accused entering plea bargain or voluntary return would not be eligible to hold public office for life.


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