ISLAMABAD - Humans respond to the situations they find themselves in. A villain can be a hero and vice versa if the circumstances change. This fact was highlighted in yesterday’s court proceedings in a scam involving embezzlement of 20,000 bags of wheat in Balochistan.

The Supreme Court expressed concern over the poor performance of National Accountability Bureau and its failure to take action against food department officials involved in illegal transfer of wheat from one district to another.

A three-judge bench of the apex court restrained from passing an order against Balochistan Director Irfan Mangi only because the five-judge SC bench in Panama Papers case had acknowledged the work of the JIT, the members of which included Mangi.

The joint investigation team (JIT) had probed and filed a 10-volume report about the alleged corruption of the Sharif family in that case. The judges during proceedings and in the final judgement lauded all the six JIT members for their excellent work.

The bench said they were not passing any order against Mangi due to [positive remarks about the JIT by] their ‘brother judges’.

Bench head Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said inquiries were pending against Mangi in the NAB but after the JIT report he became ‘a hero’, and therefore they were not passing an order against him.

He said that investigation was an art, but unfortunately those lacking skills of enquiry get promoted in NAB.

Another member of the bench, Justice Qazi Faez Isa said NAB had become a facilitator of corruption. He remarked why not Naeem Mangi be arrayed as an accused in this case.

The judge said that unless cases were registered against NAB officials too there could not be any improvement in the performance of the anti-corruption body.

“A person caught red-handed gets off scot-free. The NAB has made a mockery of investigation,” the judge said. He added the trial according to the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 should be completed in 30 days but nothing was done in 30 months.

The salary of the NAB officials is being paid from public exchequer even when they have violated the laws, Justice Qazi said. Nation’s Rs771 million were embezzled but NAB did nothing, he lamented.

Mangi has proved a poor performer in the infamous NAB but the same guy performed well when made part of the high-powered JIT.

If it’s true that money can entice many, the Mangi episode shows that there are officials who would prefer to work honestly if they are allowed doing so.

Corruption can be curtailed and performance improved if the structure and rules of work in public departments are changed in a way that officials are not prone to different pressures, most importantly the political pressure.

Minister granted bail

Hearing bail applications of former Balochistan food minister Asfandyar Kakar and food director Abdul Wali Kakar, the court granted bail to the former against Rs5 million surety but dismissed Abdul Wali’s application.

The accused were directed to appear before NAB investigation team.

Bench head Justice Dost Muhammad Khan observed that the apex court should dispose of pre-arrest applications, as pre-arrest bail affect the investigation.

The court questioned how the high court granted interim bail to the accused for one-and-half years. Justice Dost Muhammad said rich accused were provided facilities in the jails while the poor get nothing.

NAB Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Farid told the court that food director along with the other officials of the department illegally transferred wheat from one district to another.

He said that due to pre-arrest bail the accused did not appear before the NAB investigation team.

After the hearing, NAB authorities took Abdul Wali Kakar into custody.

Qazi Faez Isa said NAB had become a facilitator of corruption. He remarked why not Naeem Mangi be arrayed as an accused in this case.

The judge said that unless cases were registered against NAB officials too there could not be any improvement in the performance of the anti-corruption body.

“A person caught red-handed gets off scot-free. The NAB has made a mockery of investigation,” the judge said. He added the trial according to the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 should be completed in 30 days but nothing was done in 30 months.

The salary of the NAB officials is being paid from public exchequer even when they have violated the laws, Justice Qazi said. Nation’s Rs771 million were embezzled but NAB did nothing, he lamented.

Mangi has proved a poor performer in the infamous NAB but the same guy performed well when made part of the high-powered JIT.

If it’s true that money can entice many, the Mangi episode shows that there are officials who would prefer to work honestly if they are allowed doing so.

Corruption can be curtailed and performance improved if the structure and rules of work in public departments are changed in a way that officials are not prone to different pressures, most importantly the political pressure.

asfandyar given bail

Hearing bail applications of former Balochistan food minister Asfandyar Kakar and food director Abdul Wali Kakar, the court granted bail to the former against Rs5 million surety but dismissed Abdul Wali’s application.

The accused were directed to appear before NAB investigation team.

Bench head Justice Dost Muhammad Khan observed that the apex court should dispose of pre-arrest applications, as pre-arrest bail affect the investigation.

The court questioned how the high court granted interim bail to the accused for one-and-half years. Justice Dost Muhammad said rich accused were provided facilities in the jails while the poor get nothing.

NAB Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Farid told the court that food director along with the other officials of the department illegally transferred wheat from one district to another.

He said that due to pre-arrest bail the accused did not appear before the NAB investigation team.

After the hearing, NAB authorities took Abdul Wali Kakar into custody.