NAB is facilitator of corruption: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Balochistan, and member of the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) Irfan Naeem Mangi, saying the anti-graft body had become a facilitator of corruption.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, was hearing a bail application of former Balochistan minister of food Asfandyar Khan Kakar in the wheat corruption case.

The court observed that Irfan Naeem Mangi, who was facing inquiries, was served a show cause notice for removal from service in the light of the apex court judgment on illegal appointments in NAB, has now become a hero. “Due to the judgment of the apex court in Panama Leaks case, we cannot get hold of Irfan Naeem Mangi,” Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said.

Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, another member of the bench, while expressing annoyance over the poor performance of NAB, observed that the anti-graft body has become a facilitator of corruption. He questioned as to why the DG NAB Balochistan should not be made an accused in the instant case, adding the anti-graft body would only show an improvement in performance if cases were filed against its officers.

The court observed that decisions by the NAB Balochistan in several important cases are still pending. The court said the Bureau has made a mockery of corruption cases and a person caught red-handed in a case was set free by NAB. The court observed that while the Bureau was required to finish the case in 30 days, it was unable to conclude cases even in 30 months.

Meanwhile, the court accepted the bail application of Asfandyar Kakar on surety bonds of Rs10 million. The NAB had filed references against Asfandyar and others in connection with the 251,000 wheat bags that went missing from a storage in district Pishin, during the Pakistan People’s Party government. He was in NAB’s custody after the Balochistan High Court had cancelled his bail application after which he moved the Supreme Court.

In another case, the court rejected an extension in pre-arrest bail of former director food Balochistan Abdul Wali Kakar. The court observed that the accused was on anticipatory bail for over two years, adding the courts should decide the cases of anticipatory bail at the earliest. Justice Dost Muhammad Khan observed that  corruption is also an art, adding that people cannot get promotion without indulging in corrupt practices. He wondered as to how the High Court granted interim bail to the accused. He further observed that influential and rich accused get facilities in jails while the poor get nothing.

During the hearing, counsel for NAB informed the court that the accused Abdul Wali Kakar, along with other co-accused, was involved in illegal transfer of wheat. The court was informed that the accused had secured pre-arrest bail after which he did  not  appear before the anti-graft body. Later, the accused was arrested from the court premises.

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