ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau, on the directive of a committee investigating illegal appointments, has issued a show-cause notice to its representative in the JIT probing Panama scandal, The Nation has learnt.

Headed by the establishment secretary, the committee was constituted by the Supreme Court, which is investigating illegal appointments, promotions, deputations in the NAB. The notice was issued days before the JIT started working.

Well-placed sources in the NAB told The Nation that the bureau did not issue any separate show-cause notice to JIT member Irfan Mangi in the case of illegal appointments, promotions, deputations and absorptions.

They said the NAB issued notices to more than 100 officers in this case on the direction of a special probe committee which was constituted by the Supreme Court under the chairmanship of Establishment Secretary Syed Tahir Shahbaz.

They said the national anti-corruption watchdog issued the notice to Irfan Mangi two days before joining the joint investigation team in the Panama probe. They affirmed the NAB gave 15 days to all officers to submit their reply and did not pressurise Irfan Mangi in this regard.

The sources also averred the NAB just issued the show-cause notices to the officers, directing them to appear before the inquiry committee, record their statements and justify the appointments, promotions and deputations.

The JIT on Tuesday in its report said: “The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also accused of pressurising JIT member Irfan Mangi. It said the NAB issued a show-cause notice to Mangi on April 25 for his deputation in the anti-graft body in 2004 and sought his explanation within 15 days”.

The sources stated Mangi was using the JIT platform to avoid the inquiry committee, but he could not escape it. They said the bureau had also issued notices to 50 percent of its director generals in this regard, directing them to appear before the inquiry committee and prove they were hired on merit.

According to the NAB show-cause notice (a copy available with The Nation), NAB Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar had issued the notice to an officer, which says, “You, deputy director (BS-18), are informed through this notice that your initial appointment in NAB as a deputy director was inconsistent with terms and conditions of services (TCS 2002 and MAQ 2002) as the experience certificate from the previous department does not indicate whether it is in the fields of investigation/inquiries/ research/legal matters. And whereas I, as competent authority, am satisfied that the show-cause notice should be issued to you on the basis of above-mentioned grounds and in pursuance of judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 31-3-2017 in suo motu case No 13/2016 and in accordance with Section 8.02 of NAB’s TCS.” “Therefore, you are called upon to appear and show cause within 10 days from the receipt of this notice as to why your services may not be terminated as per Section 8.02 of NAB Employees’ Terms and Conditions of Services, 2002. Your reply will be examined by the committee which, after affording you an opportunity of hearing, will record its findings for transmission to the NAB chairman,” it added. On March 31, the Supreme Court constituted a committee headed by Secretary Establishment Syed Tahir Shahbaz and FPSC member Habibullah Khan Khattak and DG (HRM) Muhammad Shakeel Malik as members.

The documents further said: “If no reply to this show-cause notice is received within 10 days, it will be presumed that you have no defence to offer in the matter, prompting imposition of appropriate penalty. You should also state if you wish to be heard in person by the committee or not.”

When contacted, NAB Spokesperson Asim Ali Nawazish said he was not in a position to offer any comment on the issue.

 

NOKHAIZ SAHI