LAHORE: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Monday said NAB is bound to exercise plea bargain on the application by any convict, following the relevant law.
He was addressing a meeting with senior editors and reporters organised by Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) at a hotel.
Chaudhry said that almost every country of the world has a plea bargain law which exists in Pakistan as well and NAB has recovered Rs 285 billion during its last 16 years while exercising this law. He said NAB also handed over a handsome amount to victims of various scams including Double Shah scam, cooperatives scams and many housing scams.
However, he added that plea bargain is not a practice to give a free hand to anyone but a government official has to get dismissal, while elected member of a public office gets ineligible for 10 years and a businessman has to lose facility he misused.
He said NAB advertises in newspapers to seek claims by the victims on any scam. Then it adds interest and finally prepares plea bargain on the total amount claimed by the victims while adding the interest.
He said that no case is investigated by a single officer, rather a four-member combined investigation team examines the matter and on the findings NAB proceeds.
The Supreme Court on Monday flayed the National Accountability Bureau for “facilitating” the corrupt people by offering through plea bargain.
“Most of the people have a perception that NAB gets a share through plea bargain which is completely wrong,” he said. To a question about Balochistan Finance Department corruption case, Qamar Zaman said that it was not Rs 40 billion but only 2.2 billion.
The provincial government also commended NAB and the total amount recovered through plea bargain will be given to the government.
He urged the CPNE president to form an investigation committee to check as to who made up this wrong figure while reporting this case.
He said the controversy would end this way. He said that NAB was taking action against all the political parties without any discrimination, adding that the NAB chairman has the authority of taking suo motu, however, in order to protect the honour of any citizen NAB only takes action after receiving sound proof.
To another question, he said NAB suffered during the previous government’s tenure as four chairmen were changed during five years. However, he assured that the situation improved under the present government and the department was working with commitment. The Supreme Court on Monday flayed the National Accountability Bureau for “facilitating” the corrupt people by offering through plea bargain.