ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to inform about those officials who caused years of delay in the investigation of mega scams and ordered for furnishing today detail of amount recovered in last 15 years.

NAB Operations Director General Syed Khalid Iqbal informed a two-member bench hearing 150 mega scams case that the bureau has recovered Rs265 billion in the last 15 years. Presently, he said, he has last four years’ data showing how much amount was recovered in Voluntary Return and Plea Bargain, and sought time to provide details of recovery.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Dost Muhammad asked NAB Additional Prosecutor General (APG) to furnish detail of amount recovered in the last 15 years today (Thursday), observing that NAB becomes active only when the apex court gives orders.

Justice Jawwad asked from NAB APG Akbar Tarar about the officers who remained in deep slumber for years but had been getting salaries and other perks. He replied that for one or the other reason the NAB could not proceed and many of the officials responsible for delays have retired, some even died.

The judge asked what strategy had been formulated by NAB chairman to take action against those officials who delayed investigation in many cases. The APG kept on stressing that the court could inquire from the incumbent chairman (Chaudhry Qamar-uz-Zaman), who assumed the charges in November 2013, regarding the NAB affairs taking place after January 2014 till date.

Justice Dost Muhammad remarked that due to delay in investigation the sword of Damocles has been hanging over those persons whose cases have been pending over the years. He said if the references against them had been filed then their cases should have been decided by now anyhow. "These people have not been provided chance to clear their position," Justice Dost said.

Justice Jawwad asked the NAB counsel to convince the court it was not the fault of the institution. Akbar Tarar replied, "If I am at fault then the institution should not be punished". The judge observed the entire responsibility of an institution is on its head. "He (head) always assumes responsibility," he added.

Earlier, Akbar Tarar informed the court that they have submitted the amended report of 150 mega scams. He said they have added two more columns in it. Justice Jawwad inquired why these two columns were missing in the first report, adding if the NAB has to do everything on the court order then why the NAB not asks the court to run it.

The NAB submitted the amended list on Monday which includes three additional columns i.e. Date of Complaint Received, Complaint Verification (CV), and Date of Completion (deadline set for completion of investigation).