LAHORE - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) have been locking horns over the use of powers, it has been learnt reliably. According to the ACE, NAB officials get deposited the recovery with the federal departments, depriving provinces of its right.

“NAB takes actions against officers of provincial departments involved in corruption and make hefty amount of recovery from them. Ultimately this recovery is deposited with the federal government,” an ACE official said on anonymity. The official claimed as per Article 119 and 142 of the Constitution, provinces are custodians of the Provincial Consolidated Funds.

The Article 119 read:  “The custody of the Provincial Consolidated Fund  the payment of moneys into that Fund, the withdrawal of moneys therefrom, the custody of other moneys received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government, their payment into, and withdrawal from, the public Account of the Province, and all matters connected with or ancillary to the matters aforesaid, shall be regulated by Act of the Provincial Assembly or, until provision in that behalf is so made, by rules made by the Governor.”

The Article 142 (a) states: “Subject to the constitution Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall have exclusive power to make laws with respect to any matter in the Federal Legislative List;

2(b) Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and a Provincial Assembly shall have power to make laws with respect to criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence.

3(c) Subject to paragraph (b), a Provincial Assembly shall, and Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall not, have power to make laws with respect to any matter not enumerated in the Federal Legislative List.

4(d) Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall have exclusive power to make laws with respect to all matters pertaining to such areas in the Federation as are not included in any Province.

The ACE official said earlier NAB authorities used to contact directly with ACE junior officers and summoned them with record in office.  But, he added now ACE authorities have taken up the issue with NAB DG and that every correspondence with ACE officers would be made through ACE Headquarters.

ACE sources said that laws for the empowerment of ACE have also been drafted and it is lying with Prosecution and Law Department for further action.

When contacted, a spokesman for NAB said the bureau works under section 9 of National Accountability Ordinance 1999.  He said that money recovered from any officer of provincial department is deposited with the same department not in federal account.