National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (rtired) Javed Iqbal on Tuesday barred NAB officials from handcuffing accused persons in the bureau’s custody.

He addressed high ranked officials at Punjab’s Civil Secretariat where he emphasised on significance of bureaucracy and termed it “the backbone of the country.”

“In the previous year, several mega corruption cases emerged in Punjab,” he said, while asking if bureaucracy does not take decisions, how the bureau could proceed [with the investigation process].

He maintained that the government drafts policies; however “it is the bureaucracy’s responsibility to implement those policies."

"[The bureau] has conducted inquiries against the accused persons based on solid evidence and I will prove them correct,” he said.

"Bureaucracy should fulfill its responsibilities without any fear and should consider appointments and transfers on the basis of merit and transparency,” he added.

"Officers of Grade-19 and above will not be arrested without my permission," he went on to say.

"NAB regional officers have been restricted to arrest any officer on their own,” he said.

“NAB is an organ of the state. Do not take any step that may cause loss to the state’s economy,” he concluded.