The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday observed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been misusing its power and harassing those accused in cases, particularly those involved in white-collar crimes.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heading the bench at the apex court, said: “NAB should not harass the suspects, nor misuse its powers.”
The bench observed that those charged in white-collar crimes had been detained for 90 days in every reference, whereas even in military cases, no more than a 40-day remand is granted.
“Why does it not then complete its investigation and file a single reference?” questioned Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar.
NAB’s counsel therein replied that lack of cooperation from suspects necessitates the filing of supplementary references. In response to a follow-up question, the lawyer explained that these references are filed through criminal procedure code’s supplementary challan law.
The lawyer added that an ongoing case against a certain politician in London had already extended to nearly three years.
Four days ago, NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal took notice of allegations levelled by Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla against the anti-corruption watchdog and sought complete record of the graft case against him.
Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandiwalla had alleged earlier this week that NAB was violating human rights by blackmailing people.
Days after the NAB had submitted a report accusing Mandviwalla of being involved in a fake accounts case, the deputy chairman had said that NAB resorts to “blackmailing people” during closed-door investigations. He had also said that the National Commission on Human Rights and the SC have also criticised the bureau for violating human rights in the past.
He had stated that the Senate is going through a hard time for the first time in history at the hands of the NAB.