ISLAMABAD -  A special committee, formed by the Supreme Court to probe illegal appointments in the National Accountability Bureau, has cleared 80 percent of appointments as genuine.

The committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court on November 20. The probe committee, however, could not conduct interviews of DG-level officers, The Nation has learnt.

On October 26, NAB prosecutor presented the first report to the SC stating that the committee reviewed 52 out of 102 cases. He said that the process of scrutiny was stopped after the retirement of former secretary of Establishment Division Tahir Shahbaz, who was heading the first committee.

On the same day, the apex court formed another committee headed by ex-secretary Mian Asad Hyuaddin, with  a directive to submit the report within two months.

Talking to The Nation, Hyauddin said that the inquiry committee conducted interviews of grade-18 to grade-20 officers but it could not issue show-cause notices to DG level officers due to time constraint.

He said that around 100 officers of NAB appeared before the committee for personal hearings and replies of 80 percent officers were satisfactory. He said that it was a hectic work but the committee tried its best to carry out the task. He said that the committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court on November 20.

Following the Supreme Court order, the NAB had issued show cause notices to various officers for personal hearings in the illegal appointments’ case. The bureau had asked 50 officers of grade-18 and as many officers of grade-19 and above to appear before the committee along with their educational and experience credentials to satisfy the inquiry regarding their appointments made in the NAB.

Last year, the apex court had taken a suo motu notice of the illegal appointments including some director general level officers’ inductions in the NAB and constituted the first inquiry committee headed by Tahir Shahbaz with the task to examine the appointments, promotions, deputations, and absorptions made in the bureau since 1999.

On March 31, the SC formed the probe committee headed by the former secretary Establishment Division and NAB Director General Human Resource Malik Shakeel and Federal Public Service Commission member Habibullah Khattak as members. On the direction of the committee, the anti-graft body issued show cause notices to more than 102 officials including four DGs in the illegal appointments case but the inquiry committee could only scrutinize cases of 52 officers of grade-18 and submitted its report to the SC with recommendations for further action in this regard.

On the recommendations of the previous committee, the court had declared the appointments of DG Lahore Burhan Ali, DG Quetta Tariq Mehmood, DG Karachi Shabbir Ahmed and DG (Awareness and Prevention) Aliya Rashid as illegal and directed to fire them. The court had also ordered filling all the four seats in three months through the FPSC.

In violation of the Supreme Court order, former chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry again hired services of Tariq Mehmood and Burhan Ali as ‘experts’ for a period of one-year on contract.