SC adjourns NAB’s voluntary return scheme case for one month


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned hearing of a case regarding voluntary return scheme of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) till third week of May.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, Advocate Iftikhar Gillani said it was a detailed case, which would take time.

Justice Azmat Saeed responded that there were some points to be discussed in the case. One issue was whether the old decision would be discussed or not and what would be the procedure if an accused voluntarily returned amount.

He observed that if a government employee voluntarily returned the amount then what procedure was to be adopted.

NAB’s Special Prosecutor Imran Ul Haq said some accused had deposited first instalment of the amount and stopped remaining ones due to court orders.

Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that there was a question of distribution of powers in the case.

He observed that there was need to bifurcate judicial and administrative powers in the case.

Advocate Farooq H Naek said there was also a need to review laws.

Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the interpretation of Article 175 was mandatory.

The court would separately review the already announced decisions, he added.

He observed that law like the Voluntary Return (VR) scheme of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) only existed in Pakistan. In other countries courts also gave punishments with the voluntarily returned amount, he added.

He remarked that other countries reduced some sentence with the voluntary return of amount but in Pakistan NAB itself wrote letters (to the accused) and offered VR scheme.