ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal on Sunday directed all regional heads of anti-graft watchdog to complete mega-corruption cases within the stipulated time frame of 10 months.
In a statement, Justice Iqbal asked all NAB director generals to carry out “complaint verifications, inquiries and investigations as per law with the prescribed time frame so that all mega corruption cases could be brought to their logical conclusion”.
A source in NAB told Dawn that the bureau chairman had also decided to get separate briefings from prosecution and operation wings of the organisation and would also visit regional bureaus to ascertain the performance of investigation and prosecution officers. “The chairman will reprimand those delaying disposal of under-trial cases,” the source said.
Chairman plans to visit regional bureaus soon
NAB has also decided to establish witness handling cells (WHCs) at all regional bureaus to record statement of witnesses and present them in courts and ensure that they give their statements in courts without any pressure.
In the press release, the chairman was quoted as saying: “Corruption is just like cancer. NAB is committed to root out corruption by using all its resources and National Anti-Corruption Strategy for logical conclusion of mega corruption white-collar crime cases.”
He said 59 per cent people had shown confidence in NAB according to Gillani and Gallop surveys, adding that figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations were almost double during the last one-and-a-half years.
The chairman said NAB had filed 600 corruption references in accountability courts during the tenure of the present leadership of NAB which was a record. “Besides 1,210 corruption references are already under trial in the respected accountability courts,” he added.
Justice Iqbal also recalled that NAB had established a state-of-the-art forensic science lab at its Rawalpindi bureau.
New concepts, systems
He said the anti-graft watchdog had introduced a new concept — combined investigation team (CIT) — to benefit from the experiences and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers. A system of CIT comprising a director, additional director, investigation officer and a senior legal counsel has been put in place. “This is not only lending quality to the work but also ensuring that no single individual can influence official NAB proceedings,” he added.
The NAB chief said the youth were future of the country and, therefore, the bureau had signed an MoU with the Higher Education Commission to create awareness among the youth about ill effects of corruption. “More than 50,000 Character Building Societies have been established in colleges and universities of the country,” he said.
He said NAB had also devised a comprehensive Quantified Grading System to further improve the performance of NAB headquarters and all regional bureaus. “Under Quantified Grading System, NAB headquarters and regional bureaus are being evaluated on annual and mid-term basis which has proven successful and the performance of NAB regional bureaus is improving due to regular monitoring and inspection,” he claimed.
Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2019