Fighting corruption: Supreme Court seeks report on steps to bust graft

NAB recovered Rs265b over last 15 years as voluntary return, top official tells court

Hasnaat Malik July 16, 2015
The Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has sought report from the Punjab government regarding measures it has taken for the eradication of corruption in the province.

Hearing a case against officials of anti-corruption department, the apex court’s two-judge bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, on Wednesday directed Law and Justice Commission Pakistan’s secretary to collect quantitative data of corruption cases from anti-corruption departments of all provinces and submit report.

On the query of the bench, Punjab’s Assistant Advocate General Mudhasir Khalid Abbasi said he was not in a position to say whether corruption has been eradicated in the province or not.

Meanwhile, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director General Operations Syed Khalid Iqbal informed the bench that NAB had recovered Rs265 billion in the last 15 years as ‘voluntary return’ and ‘plea bargain.’ The top court, however, ordered him to provide complete detail of the amount recovered in the last 15 years.

The bench observed that the NAB becomes active when the apex court gives order.  Justice Jawwad asked what NAB officials had been doing for the last 15 years except for getting salaries and other perks.

The judge also inquired from NAB’s counsel Akbar Tarar as to what strategy had been formulated by the chairman NAB to take actions against the officials who caused delay in investigations.

The APG said NAB’s incumbent chairman has already given instruction regarding the completion of probe on old high-profile cases.

“In this regard, prominent industrialist Mian Muhammad Mansha appeared before NAB on Tuesday in connection with alleged scam regarding the sale of the Muslim Commercial Bank,” he said. Earlier, Tarar informed the court that they had submitted the amended report of 150 mega scams.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015. 

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