Web Desk: Complete draft of amendments proposed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

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Proposed Amendment by PPPP and PML(N) in

National Accountability Ordinance, 1999

 

 

Amendment of Section 1, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.

  1. Short title and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the National Accountability (Amendment) Act,

 

(2)  It shall come into force at once and shall be deemed to have come into force from the 16th day of November, 1999.

 

  1. Amendment of Section 4, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (XVIII of 1999) (hereinafter referred to as the “Ordinance”), Section 4 shall be substituted by the following:

 

“4. Application:

 

  • This Act extends to the whole of Pakistan and shall, unless precluded by context, be applicable from 16th November, 1999

 

  • Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, except for the persons, transactions and matters specified in sub-section (3) of this Section, the provisions of this Act shall apply to all persons, including those who are or have been in the service of Pakistan, wherever they may

 

  • The provisions of this Act shall not apply to transactions and persons related thereto if the subject matter thereof and/or loss to the Federal Government or a Provincial Government, as the case may be, is less than Pak Rupees One Billion and shall not, in any case, apply to:-

 

  • transactions and matters pertaining to Federal or Provincial taxation, duties, levies or imposts, by whatever name called;

 

  • matters, including incidental matters, which have been decided by, or fall within the jurisdiction of a regulatory body established under a Federal or Provincial law; or

 

  • decisions of Cabinet, ECC, CCI, ECNEC, or any other policy-making statutory body established under a Federal Law or Provincial law: or

 

 

 

  • a transaction or subject matter not involving any property, funds or fiscal interest of the Federal or Provincial

 

  • offences under Anti Money Laundering Act 2010.

 

Explanation:

  1. All pending inquiries and investigations which relate to matters pertaining to clauses (a) to (e) of sub-section (3) of Section 4 shall stand transferred to the respective authorities or departments which administer the relevant laws of taxation, levies or imposts or exercise such regulatory powers by whatever name called to ascertain if any offence is made out or not; and

 

  1. All pending trials which relate to matters pertaining to clause (a) to (e) of sub-section (3) of Section 4 shall stand transferred from the relevant Accountability Courts to the respective courts or regulatory bodies which shall decide the matters as per the applicable law.

 

  • matters where a holder of public office has not materially benefitted by gaining any monetary benefit or asset and there is no evidence to corroborate such material

 

  • any matter/transaction involving a procedural lapse including any offence specified in clause (vi) of Section 9(a);

 

  • any offence involving the rendition of an incorrect act, decision, advice, opinion or report;”

 

 

  • Any private person or a matter or transaction in relation to such private person, unless there is corroborative evidence that such private person:-

 

  1. has given any gratification, other than legal remuneration, or valuable thing or pecuniary

 

 

advantage to a public office holder in terms of clauses (i), (ii) and (iv) of Section 9 (a) and there is corroborative evidence that the public office holder or such private person has materially benefitted by gaining any monetary benefit or asset; or

 

  1. is connected with the holder of public office as his dependent or benamidar.

 

 

  1. Amendment of Section 5, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in Section 5:

 

  • In sub-section (a), the word “include” shall be substituted with the word meanand the words and comma “are reasonable grounds to believe,” shall be substituted by the words evidence to prove.

 

  • For sub-section (c) the following shall be substituted;

 

“(c) “Assets” means any property owned, controlled by or belonging to any accused, whether directly or indirectly, or held benami or in the name of his associates.

 

  • In sub-section (d) clause (ii) for the words and commas “Companies Ordinance,1984,” the words and commas “Companies Act, 2017,” shall be substituted

 

  • For sub-section (da), the following shall be substituted:

 

“(da) “Benamidar” means any person who holds property for the immediate or future benefit, direct or indirect, of another person who has provided the consideration, except when the property is held by-

 

  1. a person standing in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person towards whom he stands in such capacity and includes a trustee, executer, partner, director of a company, agent or legal advisor: and

 

 

 

 

 

  1. any person who is the spouse, child under the age of 18 years, brother, sister or lineal ascendant or descendent or an individual appearing as joint owner of property of the person who has provided the

 

  • sub-section (fa) shall be omitted,

 

 

  • A new sub-section (ha) shall be inserted as follows:

 

(ha) “Dependent” means a spouse who is not an independent tax filer or a child under 18 years of age”

 

  • sub-section (l) shall be

 

  • in sub-section (m): –

 

  1. i) in clause (ii), the words “Member of Parliament” and “Federal Parliamentary Secretary” shall be omitted;

and

 

(ii)       in clause (iii), the words “Member of the Provincial Assembly” and “Provincial Parliamentary Secretary” shall be omitted.

 

  • Clauses (v), (va) and (vi) shall be

 

  • for sub-section (n), the following shall be substituted, namely,-

 

“(n) “Offence” means the offence of corruption and  corrupt  practices as defined in Section 9 and each of the other offences defined in this Ordinance of the value not less than Rupees One Billion.”

  • after sub-section (o) a new sub-section (oa) shall be inserted, namely;

“(oa) “Private Person” shall mean any person, other than a holder of public office.

 

  • sub-section (r) shall be

 

  1. Amendment of Section 6 , Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In sub- section (b), clause (i), the word “four” shall be substituted with the word “three”:

 

  1. Amendment of Section 8 , Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in Section 8 the following shall be substituted:

 

“8. Prosecutor General Accountability.-

 

  • The Prosecutor General Accountability shall be a person who is qualified to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of

 

  • The Prosecutor General shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition in the National

 

  • The Prosecutor General Accountability shall be appointed for a non- extendable term of three years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

 

  • The Prosecutor General Accountability shall, notwithstanding expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office: Provided that such continuation in office shall not exceed sixty

 

  • The Prosecutor General Accountability shall hold independent office on whole-time basis and shall neither hold any other office concurrently nor do any private law practice.

 

  • Salary structure of the Prosecutor General Accountability shall commensurate with the Judge of the Supreme Court.

 

  • The Prosecutor General Accountability may resign from his office by writing under his hand addressed to the

 

  • The Prosecutor General Accountability shall not be removed from office except by the President on the grounds of removal of a Judge of Supreme Court of

 

 

 

  • In case the Prosecutor General Accountability is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any reason whatsoever, senior- most Additional Prosecutor General shall be notified to act as the Prosecutor General Accountability by the Chairman NAB:

 

Provided that such authorization shall not exceed sixty days, on the expiry of which a new Prosecutor General Accountability shall be appointed if the incumbent has not resumed his duties.”

 

  1. Amendment of Section 9, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in Section 9:

 

  • in sub-section (a), the words “or any other person” shall be

 

  • for sub-clause(v), the following shall be substituted

 

“(v)  if he or any of his dependents or benamidars, owns, possesses, or has acquired a right or title in any “asset” or holds pecuniary resources which are an outcome of or obtained through corruption or corrupt practice”

 

  • At the end of clause (v) of sub-section (a) the following explanation shall be inserted:

 

“Explanation: The valuation of immovable properties, shall be assessed as it was on the date of purchase either according to the actual price shown on the relevant title documents or the applicable rate prescribed by the District Collector or the Federal Board of Revenue, if applicable, whichever is higher. No evidence to the contrary shall be admissible.”

 

  • For clause (vi) of sub-section (a), the following shall be substituted:

 

“(vi) if he intentionally misuses his authority by disregarding the law so as to gain any documented material benefit or favour for himself or any other person; provided that an act done in good faith and in discharge of duties and performance of official function shall not constitute an offence under this clause.”

 

 

  • After clause (vi) the following explanation and proviso shall be added namely,-

 

Explanation: for purposes of clauses (v) and (vi), nothing shall be construed as misuse of authority by a holder of public office unless there is corroborative documented evidence of accumulation, through misuse of authority, of any monetary benefit or asset to constitute an offence under this clause.

 

Provided that for the purposes of clause (vi) above, the misuse of authority by the holder of public office, in relation to the applicable law shall be identified by the Chairman NAB.”

 

  • Clauses (vii), (viii), (ix), (x) and (xi) of sub-section (a) shall be omitted;

 

  • In Clause (xii) of sub-section (a), the words “clauses (i) to (xi)” shall be substituted with “clauses (i) to (vi)”.

 

  • sub-section (b), shall be

 

  • In sub-section (c), after the words “the Chairman NAB shall refer the matter to a Court for approval and for the release of the accused, if in ”, the following words shall be added:

 

“The closure of inquiry/investigation against an accused person shall be communicated to him and an inquiry/investigation so closed shall not be reopened.”

 

 

Proposed Insertion of New Section by PPPP and PML(N) in National Accountability Ordinance, 1999

 

 

  1. Insertion of New Section 9A, Ordinance XVIII of 1999- In the said Ordinance after Section 9, the following new section 9A shall be inserted, namely:-

 

“9A- Corruption and Corrupt Practices committed by Companies or other body corporate- Where a person committing an offence under this act is a company or other body corporate, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was responsible for such an offence shall be guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and be punished accordingly.

 

Provided that such a person shall not be proceeded against and liable to punishment if he proves that the offence took place without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent it.”

 

 

  1. Amendment in Section 10 Ordinance XVIII of 1999.– In the said Ordinance in Section 10:-

 

  • in sub-section (a), the words and comma “or person as are found to be disproportionate to the known sources of his income or,” shall be

 

  • sub-section (b) along with the Schedule referred to therein as well as clause (c) and clause (d) shall be

 

  1. Amendment of Section 11, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance Section 11 shall be
  2. Amendment of Section 12, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance in place of section 12, the following shall be substituted:

 

  • “During the course of an inquiry or investigation any property moveable or immoveable, shall not be placed under any caution or restraint unless the same is sanctioned by the Court of competent jurisdiction upon there appearing reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed an offence under this Ordinance and the property in question is an outcome of the

 

  • The Court shall not pass any order without issuing a notice and providing an opportunity of hearing to the effected person;

 

Provided where the Court deems appropriate, it may instead of passing an order of attachment, direct the accused, within a time to be fixed by it, either to furnish security, in such sum as may be specified in the order and to produce and place

 

it at the disposal of the Court, when required, the said property or the value of the same, and in case of attachment of bank accounts, the Court shall allow withdrawal of such amounts to meet legitimate expenses of the accused persons(s).”

  1. Amendment of Section 13, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, Section 13 shall be
  2. Amendment of Section 14, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, Section 14, shall be
  1. Amendment of Section 15, Ordinance XVIII of – In  the said Ordinance, in Section 15:

 

  • In sub section (a), the words “forthwith cease to hold public office” shall be omitted and substituted by “cease to hold public office after the appeal process against his conviction has been exhausted” and for the words “ten years” shall be substituted with words “five years”

 

  • In Proviso for the words “shall stand disqualified for a period of ten years” shall be omitted and substituted with the words “shall stand disqualified for a period of five years”

 

  • In sub-section (b) for the words “ten years” shall be substituted with the words “five years”
  1. Amendment of Section 16, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- in the said Ordinance, in Section 16:

 

  • for sub-section (a) the following shall be substituted

 

‘(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an accused shall be prosecuted for an offence under this Ordinance in the Court in the territorial jurisdiction of which the offence was alleged to have been committed and the case shall be heard and disposed of within six months:

 

Provided that NAB shall file only one reference, which shall be treated as the final reference, and no supplementary reference shall be filed thereafter.”

 

 

  • for sub-section (d) the following shall be substituted;

 

“(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, a holder of public office shall be tried by a Court in the Province from which he was elected and a person in the service of Pakistan or any statutory body or organization shall be tried in a Province where his place of duty is or was located at the time of commission of the offence:

 

Provided that if two or more persons of any category are jointly accused in a case, the trial shall be held in a province from where the holder of public office was elected.

 

Explanation: In case of Islamabad Capital Territory reference to ‘province’ in sub-section (5) shall be read as reference to Islamabad Capital Territory.”

 

  1. Amendment of Section 16A, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in section 16A:

 

  • sub-section (a) shall be omitted;

 

  • after sub-section (c) the following sub-section (d) shall be added:

 

“(d) The provisions of this section shall mutatis mutandis apply to Islamabad Capital Territory.”

 

  1. Amendment of Section 17, Ordinance XVIII of 1999- In the said Ordinance, in section 17-

 

  • sub-section (c) shall be omitted;

 

  • sub-section (d) shall be renumbered as sub-section (c).

 

  • In the renumbered sub-section (c), the words “of the same kind” shall be substituted by the words “under this Ordinance”

 

  1. Amendment of Section 18, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in Section 18-

 

  • In sub-section (b) the following proviso shall be added:

 

“Provided, however, that NAB shall not conduct any inquiry or investigation or file any reference for an alleged offence after the passing of five years from the date of the transaction or act constituting the offence.”

 

  • After sub-section (b) a new sub-section (bb) shall be inserted as follows:

 

“(bb) National Accountability Bureau shall not initiate action on allegations:-

 

  • contained in a complaint which is anonymous or pseudonymous: or

 

  • which do not involve public money: or

 

  • in which the amount involved is less than Rupees One Billion; or

 

  • which, under the provisions of any law for the time being in force, cannot be investigated due to lapse of time or relate to a period for which records need not be maintained by the holder of public office; or

 

  • which relate to the business of government-controlled public or private limited or other companies for which regulatory provisions exist in their parent statutes or any other law for the time being in force, including the Securities Act, 2015; or

 

  • which relate to decisions of a Government Official Committee at the Ministerial level on matters falling within its ”

 

  • For sub-section (e), the following shall be substituted:

 

“(e) The Chairman NAB and such officers of NAB as are authorized by the Chairman may cause the attendance of any person, for the purpose of inquiry or investigation and may require any person to execute a bond for the purpose of securing his attendance, subject to the provisions of section 19, and if and when the assistance of any agency, police officer or any other official or agency, as the case may be, is required by the NAB, such official or agency shall render such assistance:

 

  • For sub-section (f) the following shall be substituted :-

 

(f)   Any enquiry and investigation shall be completed within six months.

 

  1. Amendment of Section  19, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in Section 19:

 

  • in sub-section (a), after the words “any person” the words  “with regard to particulars of the subject inquiry or investigation only” shall be inserted;

 

  • in sub-section (b), for the words “to the inquiry or investigation” the words

 

 

“with regard to the subject inquiry or investigation only” shall be substituted;

 

  • in sub-section (c), after the word “case” the words “with regard to the subject inquiry or investigation only” shall be inserted; and

 

  • In sub-section (d), after the words “with law” the words “with regard to the subject inquiry or investigation only” shall be

 

  • Sub-section (e) shall be omitted.

 

  • After sub-section (d) the following sub-section (da) shall be inserted:

 

“(da) In case documentation relating to any bank or financial institution, including copies of entries made in a bank’s or a financial institution’s books such as ledgers, day books, cash

 

books and all other books including record of information and transactions saved in electronic or digital form, is required for the purpose of an inquiry or investigation, the Chairman NAB shall authorize an officer in this regard to enter the premises of such bank or financial institution, and duly stamp and number the required record, after which the bank or financial institution shall provide copies of the same, duly certified to be true copies, to the authorized officer as soon as may be practicable but in any case not later than seven days.”

 

  • After the end of sub-section (da), the following sub-sections shall be inserted:

 

  • Any person called to provide information in relation to an offence alleged to have been committed under this Ordinance, shall be informed if he is an accused person, and if the person is alleged to have committed an offence he shall be informed of the allegations against him in such detail as would enable him to prepare his defence.

 

  • Any person called to provide information shall be entitled to have an attorney of his choice present during interrogation conducted by NAB.

 

  • An officer of NAB conducting such interrogation shall only ask for such information from the accused that pertains to the allegations against the accused person or other co-accused persons in respect to the alleged offence.

 

  1. Amendment of Section 20, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in section 20, an Explanation shall be added as follows:

 

Explanation: for the purposes of this section any transaction in cash over Rupees twenty million shall be considered as a ‘large transaction’”

 

  1. Amendment of         Section            21,      Ordinance          XVIII         of                    –  In  the said Ordinance, in Section 21, sub-section (g) shall be omitted,-

 

  1. Omission of Section 23 Ordinance XVIII of 1999- In the said Ordinance, Section 23 shall be

 

  1. Amendment of Section       24, Ordinance XVIII                      of 1999.-  In  the said Ordinance, in Section 24,-

 

  • sub-section (a), shall be omitted;

 

  • in sub-section (b), after the words “a copy of such reference” the words and comma “along with report of Investigation Officer” shall be

 

  • for sub-section (c), the following shall be substituted, namely:-

 

“(c) The Court to which a reference has been sent for trial may issue process in terms of Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898”

 

  • sub-section (e) and (f) shall b

 

  1. Amendment of         Section             25, Ordinance               XVIII         of                    – In  the said Ordinance, in Section 25,-

 

  • sub-section (a) shall be omitted; and

 

  • for sub-section (b) the following shall be substituted, namely:

 

“(b) Where at any time during enquiry or after the authorization of investigation, before or after the commencement of the trial or during the pendency of an appeal, the holder of public office or any other person offers to return to the NAB the assets or gains acquired or made in the course, or as a consequence of any offence under this Ordinance, the Chairman, NAB, may, in his discretion, after taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case, accept the offer on such terms and conditions as he may consider necessary, and if the holder of public office  or  any  other person agrees to return to the NAB the amount determined by the Chairman NAB, who shall then refer the case for the approval of the Court or the Appellate Court, as the case may be, for the release of the holder of public office or any other person as well as his co-accused.

 

Provided that if the Chairman refuses to accept the offer, the concerned holder of public office or other person may submit the offer directly to Court for consideration and approval.

 

Provided that where a holder of public office or any other person, offers to return the assets or gains acquired or made in the course, or as a consequence of any offence under this Ordinance, such a person but not his co-accused shall cease to

 

 

hold public office forthwith and shall stand disqualified for a period of five years, to be reckoned from the date he has discharged the liabilities relating to the matter or transaction in issue,  for  seeking  or from being elected, chosen appointed or nominated as a member or representative of any public body or any statutory or local authority or in service of Pakistan or of any province.

  1. Omission of Section 25-A, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, Section 25-A, shall be
  2. Amendment of Section 26, Ordinance XVIII of –  In the said Ordinance, in Section 26-

 

  • in sub-section (a), after the words “whole of the circumstances within his knowledge” the words “provide documentary proof” shall be

 

  • in sub-section (b), after the word “Magistrate,” the words “in the presence of the accused who shall be given an opportunity of cross- examining such person” shall be
  1. Amendment of Section 27, Ordinance XVIII of 1999,- In the said Ordinance in Section 27 before the words “the Chairman NAB or an officer”, the words “Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance” shall be
  2. Amendment of Section 28, Ordinance XVIII of 1999,- In the said Ordinance in Section 28 shall be substituted by the following:

 

“28.     Appointment of officers and staff in the National Accountability Bureau-

 

  • Officers and staff of NAB except prosecutors shall be appointed by the Federal Public Service Commission in accordance with relevant provisions of the Federal Public Service Commission Ordinance, 1977, and shall be entitled to such salaries, allowances and  other terms and conditions of service commensurate with their qualifications and experience, as may be prescribed by rules framed under Federal Public Service Commission Ordinance

 

  • The provisions of the Civil Servants Act, 1973 (LXXI of 1973) shall apply to the persons appointed in or employed by the

 

  • The Chairman NAB through Federal Public Service Commission, may appoint advisers, consultants and experts, on payment of such fee or remuneration as may be prescribed, to assist him in performing the functions of the NAB and the discharge of his duties under this Ordinance.”
  1. Amendment of Section 31-A:- In the said Ordinance, Section 31-A shall be omitted.
  2. Amendment of Section 31-C:- In the said Ordinance, Section 31-C shall be omitted.
  3. Amendment of Section 31-D:- In the said Ordinance, Section 31-D shall be omitted.
  4. Insertion of new Sections 33D, Ordinance XVIII of 1999:- In the said Ordinance Section 33D shall be substituted with the following new sub-section:-

 

33D.  The Annual Report shall be placed before both Houses of Parliament for discussion and consideration.

  1. Insertion of new Sections 33F and 33G, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, after Section 33E the following new Sections 33F and 33G, shall be inserted, namely:-

 

“33F.Restriction on issuance of public statements.- No official of NAB,  in any capacity, shall make any statement in public or to the media or leak any information regarding persons involved in any inquiry or investigation conducted by NAB until a reference has been filed against such persons; and

 

 

“33G. Punishment for making public statements.- Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 33F shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year but shall not be less than one month in any case and with a fine of Rupees One Million.”.

  1. Amendment of Section 36, Ordinance XVIII of 1999.- In the said Ordinance, in Section 36, the following proviso shall be inserted at the end of the sub-section:

 

“Provided however, that any person may file a complaint or bring a suit against any officer of NAB for physical torture or harassment caused by NAB officers or for falsely implicating any person, exaggerating or fabricating charges or evidence in the matter

 

  1. Insertion of Section 38, Ordinance XVIII of 1999,- In the said Ordinance, the following Section 38 shall be inserted;
  • All orders, judgments and sentences passed under the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 which have become final and in respect of which no proceedings or appeals are pending in any court including the High Court or the Supreme Court as on the date of promulgation of this Act shall, notwithstanding the provisions of this Act, be deemed to have been validly made and

 

  • All enquiries, investigations, references, proceedings and appeals under or arising from the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 pending on the date of this Act, shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 as amended by this