NAB has decided in principle to proceed against complainants who lodge frivolous complaints with any motivation beyond the law, or with loaded interests or intent to cause malice to others. NAB would encourage genuine complainants who lodge complaints on the basis of evidence that ex facie suggests commission of offences of corruption and corrupt practice, said a news release.
According to NAB’s operational methodology, verification is conducted to ascertain the veracity of the contents of a complaint by calling the complainant, who must submit an affidavit to that effect.
Also, Complaint Verification is a mechanism to ward off malicious and frivolous complaints by way of preliminary scrutiny so that prior to an inquiry, it is ascertained that it would cause no undue harm to the accused person. Subsequent to this two-month process, an inquiry is authorised if the complaint is found out to be genuine and worthy of probing further.
The inquiry process is completed in four months, at which time it is determined whether or not a case can be made for proceeding further with prosecution. If it is found worthy of proceeding, the inquiry is upgraded and authorised as an investigation, which must also be completed in four months. The investigation is further consolidated for the filing of a reference.
NAB, under the leadership of Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, is the only investigating agency in the world that prescribes and implements a 10-month timeframe for logical conclusion of corruption cases. This limited time period saves the accused persons from the rigours of investigation proceedings that may otherwise continue for prolonged periods of time.
Nevertheless, in order to further streamline the process of complaints and for the sake of more transparency, fake complainants lodging frivolous complaints against individuals would be dealt with according to law, the news release said.