ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday noticed that the National Accountability Bureau services rules are contrary to the provisions of 1973 Constitution.

The court directed the NAB to submit complete record and service profiles of all the officers of Grade 18 and above. The court was surprised that the NAB was unaware of its judgments regarding deputation of civil servants and absorption.

Justice Hani Muslim, heading a three-judge bench, was hearing a suo motu regarding alleged illegal appointments within NAB. The chief justice had taken suo motu notice on an anonymous letter. Later officers of NAB also filed a petition pleading party in the case.

Justice Hani said the principles of deputation and absorption have clearly been outlined in the apex court judgments, which are also applicable on the NAB.

The court said they would examine the powers conferred upon Chairman NAB under section 28 of National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and the NAB Terms and Conditions of Services 2002, which are contrary to the Article 4, 8, 9, 25, 240 and 241 of constitution. The NAB was directed to file reply of all issues raised in the petitions.

Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf was directed to personally assist the court whether the Civil Service Act 1973 applicable to NAB or not.

The court said that the powers of chairman and the officers of NAB need to be structured and if the officers working in Bureau will meet the criteria of Service Act and the principles laid down in the judgment then they would continue. He said they would examine all the officers’ appointments.

The court was informed that some officers within NAB have been given acting charges for long. Justice Hani said the acting charge is for specific term i.e. six months.

NAB Special Prosecutor Imran ul Haq pleaded that the NAB employees are government servants but they are not civil servants as they are governed under section 28 of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

First he said the apex court judgments regarding deputation are not applicable to the NAB employees but when the court confronted him then he accepted that the civil laws apply to NAB employees as well.

The prosecutor further said they would be glade if the august court streamlines the NAB service rules.

He said the officers whose names are mentioned in the petition are not presently working on deputation in NAB but they were inducted/absorbed in the initial years of establishment of NAB in accordance with NAB employees Terms and Condition of Service 2002.

The prosecutor informed the court that the issue of appointments, promotion and seniority of Director General and Directors of NAB is pending before Lahore High Court and Islamabad High Court.

He also told that the similar nature of application was filed by NAB in the apex court, which was returned by the registrar office and later the judge had maintained the registrar order.

Justice Hani said that they were hearing this case under Article 184(3) of Constitution, which has vast scope. The court observed that the powers given to chairman under section 28 of NAO are so vast which are not available even to the prime minister and President of Pakistan.

During the proceeding, Justice Hani snubbed Director General NAB Saleem Shehzad, who he was continuously whispering in the ear of prosecutor. The court asked Saleem to sit down.

Ex-army officers – Sqd Ldr (Retd) Tariq Mehmood Nadeem, acting charge (OPS) DG NAB, Multan, Major (retd) Shahzad Saleem, acting charge (OPS) DG NAB, Peshawar, Major (Retd) Syed Burhan Ali, acting charge (OPS) DG NAB, Lahore, Major (Retd) Shabbir Ahmed, acting charge (OPS), DG NAB, Karachi, Major (Retd) Tariq Mehmood Malik, acting charge (OPS) DG NAB, Quetta, Lt. Col (Retd) Siraj-ul-Naeem, acting director DG NAB, Karachi, were absorbed and given promotion in the NAB. The case is adjourned till October 24.