National Assembly approves amendments to NAB laws

In a bid to curtail the powers of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the National Assembly on Thursday approved amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

The bill was tabled by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar who said that multiple amendments were made in the accountability Ordinance to clip the powers exercised by the accountability bureau.

Sharing details of the key amendments, he said that after fresh amendments, no arrests could be made before completion of the investigation process, and the suspect will have the right to obtain bail while 90-day remand is also abolished.

“90-day remand is for terrorists and we have now reduced the duration of remand to 14 days,” he said and added that no defamation campaign could be carried out unless the suspect is convicted in the case. The case could not be used for political purposes in the assets beyond means case, he said.

Azam Nazeer Tarar further said that the NAB will now be bound to initiate an inquiry within six months of the complaint, contrary to previous procedure when there was no time limit.

The law minister said that the NAB law was used for political purposes to target opponents. “The previous government made many amendments through the passage of the ordinance and only to extend the tenure of the incumbent chairman NAB,” he said.

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