ISLAMABAD: As it decided to implement the new amendments to the law in letter and spirit, the National Account­ability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday announced that it will not take up corruption cases that involve an amount of less than Rs500 million.

In a statement issued after a meeting chaired by NAB Chairman Aftab Sultan, the accountability watchdog said it will also stay away from cases in which less than 100 people were scammed or affected.

“It was reiterated that newly promulgated law will be implemented in letter and spirit. Cognisance of cases involving corruption for [an] amount above Rs500 million or at least 100 affected persons…will be taken up,” said the official press release issued by the NAB headquarters.

About the cases that were sent back by accountability courts for lack of jurisdiction consequent to the new law tweaks, the statement said these cases would be forwarded to relevant forums, including anti-corruption courts. However, references based on complaints of private individuals will be returned to the complainants for proceeding in accordance with the law as per jurisdiction.

Accountability courts recently sent back several references, including the one against PM Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz (Ramzan Sugar Mills) and former premiers Yousaf Raza Gilani (USF) and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (rental power projects), to the NAB chairman, citing the amended legislation and with a direction to place it before a court of competent jurisdiction.

On Aug 3, the National Assembly passed legislation that further clipped the wings of NAB under which all cases involving less than Rs500m would not come under its purview.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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