President to approve draft Accountability Rules, NAB tells SHC

Published April 25, 2021
The National Accountability Bureau has informed the Sindh High Court that the draft of the National Accountability Rules was being submitted to the president for approval.
— PPI/File
The National Accountability Bureau has informed the Sindh High Court that the draft of the National Accountability Rules was being submitted to the president for approval. — PPI/File

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau has informed the Sindh High Court that the draft of the National Accountability Rules was being submitted to the president for approval.

A special prosecutor in a statement submitted that NAB headquarters had written a letter to the secretary of the ministry of law and justice about the rules.

NAB further said in its reply that the law division had made certain observations and the same were amended accordingly and a modified draft of the National Accountability Rules was sent to the law division keeping in view the wisdom of Section 34 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

“The draft is being submitted for approval of the President of Pakistan for issuance of a notification in the official gazette,” it concluded.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro adjourned the hearing till June 17 after the NAB prosecutor sought time to file further documents in this regard.

The court seeks a report about rehabilitation of people being affected by a drive to remove encroachments on city’s drains

A lawyer moved the SHC stating that the NAB Ordinance was promulgated in 1999 and despite the passage of over 20 years its rules as required under Section 34 of the ordinance to carry out the purposes of the ordinance had not been framed.

The petitioner further submitted that neither NAB had framed the rules nor the same were notified in the official gazette for public information.

Citing the NAB chairman, director general-NAB Sindh, federal law and justice secretary and others as respondents, the petitioner maintained that an inordinate delay on part of authorities concerned was against the spirit of Section 24-A of the General Clauses Act, 1897 and Articles 4, 9, 10-A and 14 of the Constitution.

He asked the court to direct the NAB chairman and the DG-NAB to frame rules on an urgent basis to carry out the purpose of the law and also sought direction for other respondents.

Pleas against anti-encroachment drive

Another division bench of SHC directed the chief secretary and Karachi commissioner to submit within two weeks a comprehensive report about rehabilitation of the people being affected during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive on and around the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs and other drains of the city.

The two-judge bench headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi asked them to inform it whether the government had evolved any scheme/plan for rehabilitation for such affectees. It warned that if the report was not filed, the chief secretary and commissioner would have to appear in person.

Some NGOs with around 45 individuals had moved the SHC stating that their houses near the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs were leased by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other departments and now they were being demolished in alleged pursuance of the Supreme Court’s orders.

They alleged that the respondents had been misusing the apex court orders for their own wishes and whims by issuing mass public notices providing only a few days to leave their homes without any rehabilitation.

Earlier, during the hearing of some identical matters before a single-judge bench, the provincial authorities in a report stated that the NED University had recommended that the minimum width of the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs should be 35 and 20 feet, respectively.

The report filed by the provincial law officer said in order to ensure that no further construction took place on the right of way and improve accessibility, a 30-foot-wide road was proposed to be built on the shoulders of both drains under which new sewerage lines would be laid.

The report said that occupants of those houses built on 100 to 70 per cent on required land would receive a sum of Rs15,000 per month for two years as compensation. It claimed that they would also be offered housing in the Naya Pakistan Housing Schemes at preferential interest rates.

Over 2,500 cheques in sum of Rs15,000 have been prepared and handed over to the affectees of the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs, it added.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2021

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