ISLAMABAD - At least 96 accused facing high profile corruption cases by NAB have filed applications in different accountability courts seeking relief under the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.

According to documents, the number of applications requesting acquittal in the wake of the NAB amended ordinance has jumped to 96. The documents disclosed that those who have sought relief included former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in six corruption references, Tahir Basharat Cheema in two cases, Col (R) Subhan Sadiq, Khalil Ahmad, Saleem Arif, Iqbal Ali Shah, Razi Abbas, Murtaza Malik,  Saleem Arif, Iqbal Ali Shah, Rasheed Ahmed, Hussain Syed, Matanat Ali, Naeem Khan, Shafiq uz Zaman, Muhammas Aijaz Haroon, Aftab Ahmad, Anwar Abbasi, Muhammad Aslam, Tariq Hassan Gilani, Wazir Ali Bhayo, Anwar Abbasi, Muhammad Aslam,  Abdul Ghani Majeed, the principal accused in the fake bank accounts and money laundering case, Minahal Majeed, senior PTI leader Liaquat Ali Jatoi, PPP senior leader Sharjeel Inam Memon, Hassan Aly Memon and Ghulam Shabbir, Javed Feroz, Shahid Feroz, Rizwan Feeroz, Qadeer Batlay,  Muhammad Ali Javaid, Shabnam Iftikhar,  Humayun Faiz Rasool,  Col ®  Wakeel Khan Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Kamran Saeed, Abdul Majid Alvi, Abdul Shafique and Muhamamd Saleem.

According to the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019, the Bureau cannot freeze properties of government employees without court orders. If NAB fails to complete investigation against a suspect within three months, the accused will be entitled to bail. The NAB jurisdiction over matters relating to imports and levy has been curtailed.

The accused sought acquittal with the plea that the new NAB ordinance has provided relief to public office holders. The accused in 25 different corruption references have approached relevant courts for their acquittal under the new law so far.

Special Assistant to PM on Accountability Shehzad Akbar had also clarified that the new NAB ordinance has not been withdrawn. The NAB has also started its work following the new NAB law.