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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court has written a letter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking a list of cases to be withdrawn under the recently-promulgated Accountability Court ordinances.

Official sources said that Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan has written a letter to NAB Chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal and sought a list of cases to be withdrawn under recently-promulgated National Accountability (second and third amendments) ordinances, 2021.

The amendment ordinances have empowered the NAB chairman to withdraw a case, which does not fall under the jurisdiction of the anti-corruption body, they said.

They said that the judge through the letter informed the NAB chairman that the accused were filing acquittal petitions under the amendment ordinance.

“It would be appropriate to provide a list of cases to be withdrawn, so that the time of the court can be saved,” they added.

Accountability Court-I judge Muhammad Bashir had also written a similar kind of a letter to the NAB chairman a week ago.

Under NAB ordinances, the decisions of the federal and provincial cabinets, business community, and collective decisions of the committees or sub-committees, Council of Common Interests, National Economic Council, National Finance Commission, Executive Committee of the National Economic Council, Central Development Working Party, Provincial Development Working Party, Departmental Development Working Party, and the State Bank of Pakistan are excluded from the ambit of the NAB.

According to the ordinance, “all matters pertaining to federal, provincial or local taxation, other levies or imposts, including refunds, or loss of exchequer pertaining to taxation” will be dealt with in accordance with the revenue or banking laws and will be transferred from the accountability courts to the courts of competent jurisdiction.

Moreover, the NAB cannot proceed against “any person or entity who, or transaction in relation thereto, which are not directly or indirectly connected with the holder of a public office…procedural lapses in any public or governmental work, project or scheme, unless it is shown that a holder of public office or any other person has been conferred or has received any monetary or other material benefit from that particular public or governmental work”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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