President rejects appeal of NAB official guilty of ‘disclosing secrets’

Dr Arif Alvi directs anti-corruption watchdog to complete investigation against other officers involved in wrongdoing

News Desk April 23, 2022

President Dr Arif Alvi has rejected the appeal of an anti-corruption watchdog official, who was found guilty of disclosing official secrets, to set aside the major penalty awarded to him over unlawful communication of official information for illegal gains.

The president, as per an official statement, also directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday to proceed against other officers involved in such cases. “If found guilty punish them for doing corruption within the very institution that was responsible for controlling corruption.”

Noman Iqbal, Assistant Private Secretary (BS-16) had been awarded the major penalty of “reduction to a lower post for a period of five years” after it was established that he copied and shared official information with unauthorised individuals.

NAB’s Karachi chapter had conducted a fact-finding inquiry, based on a source report, under which confidential record was found in the mobile phone of the accused, which he was otherwise not authorised to hold.

NAB had recommended initiating disciplinary proceedings against Iqbal.

Initially, the matter was probed by Chairman Inspection and Monitoring Team, NAB (HQ), which revealed that Iqbal was involved in unlawful communication of official information inside and outside NAB in connivance with two other officials of NAB, Karachi.

Also read: NAB chief vows to end corruption

An inquiry committee was also constituted to probe into the matter that found the appellant guilty on charges of “misconduct” and “disclosure of official secrets”.

A forensic analysis of appellant’s phone also found chats and documents which proved that he copied and shared information with unauthorised individuals, read the statement.

Afterwards, Iqbal was awarded penalty of reduction to lower post for five years and two other officers involved were also penalised.

Iqbal then submitted an appeal to the president, being the Appellate Authority, under NAB Employees Services Rules (TCS-2002) to set aside the major penalty. The NAB chairman through a summary, circulated through the Ministry of Law and Justice and endorsed by the prime minister, requested that the appeal of Iqbal may be rejected.

President Alvi upheld the original decision on the grounds that Iqbal had not provided any cogent reason or additional justification to recall the earlier decision of major penalty. He emphasised that for such individuals this penalty does not do justice and wished that the punishment should have been harsher.

“I direct NAB to complete the investigation against other officers involved and if found guilty punish them for the wrong done to the country and tarnishing its image,” the president noted while rejecting the appeal.


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