Every now and then we see NAB announcing with a lot of fanfare, the recovery of billions of rupees under the plea bargain system. I am not a legal expert but even as a layman I would like that any one who has committed a crime should be punished as per laws of the land. When a normal person is caught steeling money he is sent to jail and the stolen money is also recovered from him. However, when some big gun is caught stealing billions, he gets away without any conviction by returning all or some portion of the looted money. Is this the Plea Bargain facility? If so, I am afraid, there is a serious lacuna in our judicial system and needs to be addressed quickly. Just imagine how many powerful people have been let off the hook by NAB under this deeply flawed system. The current system instead of acting as a deterence , in fact, encourages people to commit crimes involving money matters. If apprehended, they know they will get away under this plea bargain system. There is also a perception that the govt is quite happy with the current system as it gets billions of rupees in its kitty. The punishment part is not its main concern.
Islamabad, December 2.