ISLAMABAD: The Oversight Committee of the Senate suggested revoking the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law on the plea that it was enacted under the controversial Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Besides, the committee also pointed out the overlapping of NAB and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) laws, adding that many politicians and bureaucrats were facing the two laws simultaneously.
It further said that under FIA laws only public servants were to be investigated but there was no definition of the public servant, while NAB was empowered to investigate both politicians and public servants.
Member of the committee Senator Farooq H. Naek said that only Section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code defined as to who fell in the purview of public servant. However, both the FIA and NAB never followed this law, he said.
The phrase public servant according to Section 21 denotes: Every commissioned officer in Army, Navy or Air Forces while serving under federal or any provincial governments; judge; officer of a court of justice; juryman; arbitrator and municipal commissioner.
Senate committee highlights overlapping of NAB and FIA laws
Mr Naek said that Mr Musharraf introduced the NAB Ordinance under the PCO and since the PCO had been revoked, hence, the existence of NAB Ordinance was unlawful and should be abolished. “Unfortunately NAB law has never been presented before parliament,” the senator said.
The meeting observed that NAB fell under the law ministry and the FIA under the interior ministry and both the ministries were reluctant to making any changes to both laws.
The senator suggested that the either prime minister or the speaker of the National Assembly should form a committee for removing the overlapping laws to which the committee agreed bifurcation after a review of NAB and FIA laws.
The law ministry presented its interim report and representatives of the law division spoke about contentment FIA and NAB had expressed over the existing jurisdiction they were exercising.
FIA and NAB officials had said that whenever a need arose, the FIA referred cases to NAB and NAB to the FIA.
A law division official said that the law division could not amend the FIA Act as it comes under the interior ministry.
Committee Chairman Senator Mohammad Javed Abbasi supported Mr Naek’s stance and directed the law division to come with a comprehensive report in the next meeting.
The secretary Establishment Division provided details of the Civil Services Reforms under consideration and told the committee that a number of Civil Services Reforms regarding declaration of assets by civil servants, rules of conduct, increase in age and qualification, and CSS quota of women and minority were on the agenda. He said the report would be presented to the committee once it was finalised.