Punjab restricts NAB’s direct inquiry powers

New cell established to oversee internal inquiries before NAB

Our Correspondent June 24, 2024


In a significant development, the provincial government in Punjab has stopped the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from directly initiating inquiries against government officers.

All complaints received by NAB will first be referred to the Accountability Facilitation Cell, recently established at Punjab’s Civil Secretariat. The secretariat will refer the complaint to the relevant department for an internal inquiry and then send its report to the cell, which will forward it to NAB.

This whole process of internal inquiry will be completed within two months. During this internal inquiry, the accused officers will be given an opportunity to robustly defend themselves. The internal inquiry against an officer will be kept confidential.

According to the official notification for the cell, the secretary services cell will be the convener, while the secretary I&C, secretary regulation, and secretary law will be members of the Accountability Facilitation Cell.

Since the ouster of the PTI-led federal government in April 2022, there has been an attempt to limit the power of the country’s top graft buster, which is often accused of being a tool for victimizing political opponents.


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