An Ordinance to provide for the setting up of a National Accountability Bureau so as to eradicate corruption and corrupt practices and hold accountable all those persons accused of such practices and matters ancillary thereto;
Whereas it is expedient and necessary to provide for effective measures for the detection, investigation, prosecution and speedy disposal of cases involving corruption, corrupt practices, misuse or abuse of power or authority, misappropriation of property, taking of kickbacks, commissions and for matters connected and ancillary or incidental thereto;
AND WHEREAS there is an emergent need for the recovery of outstanding amounts from those persons who have committed default in the repayment of amounts to Banks, Financial Institutions, Governmental agencies and other agencies;
AND WHEREAS there is a grave and urgent need for the recovery of state money and other assets from those persons who have misappropriated or removed such money or assets through corruption, corrupt practices and misuse of power or authority;
AND WHEREAS there is an urgent need to educate the society about the causes and effects of corruption and corrupt practices and to implement policies and procedures for the prevention of corruption in the society;
AND WHEREAS there is an increased international awareness that nations should co-operate in combating corruption and seek, obtain or give mutual legal assistance in matters concerning corruption and for matters connected, ancillary or incidental thereto;
AND WHEREAS it is necessary that a National Accountability Bureau be set up so as to achieve the above aims;
AND WHEREAS the National Assembly and the Senate stand suspended in pursuance of the Proclamation of the fourteenth day of October, 1999, and the Provisional Constitution Order No.1 of 1999, as amended;
AND WHEREAS the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action;
NOW THEREFORE, in pursuance of the aforesaid Proclamation and Provisional Constitutional Order as well as Order No. 9 of 1999, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-
1. Short Title
This Ordinance may be called the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (No.XVIII of 1999).
This Ordinance shall come into force at once and shall be deemed to have come into force from the 1st day of January 1985.
The provisions of this Ordinance shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force.
It extends to the whole of Pakistan and shall apply to all persons in Pakistan, all citizens of Pakistan and persons who are or have been in the service of Pakistan wherever they may be, including areas which are part of federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.
(a) “Accused” shall include a person in respect of whom there are reasonable grounds to believe, that he is or has been involved in the commission of any offence friable under this Ordinance or is subject of an investigation or inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau, or any other agency authorized by the National Accountability Bureau in this regard under this Ordinance.
(b) “Appropriate Government” means in relation to any person serving in connection with the affairs of the Federation, including any person employed by a corporation, body, financial institution, bank, authority undertaking or any other organization set up, controlled or administered by or under the authority of the Federal Government, the Federal Government and in other cases, the Provincial Government or the local government concerned.
(c) “Assets” means any property owned, controlled by or belonging to any accused, whether directly or indirectly, or held beamy in the name of his spouse or relatives or associates, whether within or outside Pakistan which he cannot reasonably account for, or for which he cannot prove payment of full and lawful consideration.
(d) “Associates” means-
(I) any person who is or has been managing the affairs of or keeping accounts for the accused or who enjoys or has enjoyed any benefit from the assets.
(ii) any association of persons, body of individuals, partnership firm or private limited company within the meaning of Companies Ordinance 1984, of which the accused is or has been a member, partner or director or which has been promoted, floated, established or run by the accused, whether singly or jointly, with other persons.
(iii) A trustee of any trust declared by the accused, or of which the accused is also a trustee or a beneficiary; and
(iv) A binomial;
(Da) “Binomial means any person who ostensibly holds or is in possession or custody of any property of an accused on his behalf for the benefit and enjoyment of the accused;
(e) “Chairman National Accountability Bureau” means a person who is appointed as such by the President of Pakistan as mentioned in section 6
(f) “Code” means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898;
(Far) “Conciliation Committee” means the Conciliation Committee constituted under section 25A”.
(g) “Court” means an Accountability Court which shall consist of a Judge who shall be appointed by the President of Pakistan, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the Province concerned, on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the President;
(h) “Judge” means a Judge of a Court who shall be a serving District and Sessions Judge qualified to be appointed as Judge of the High Court and includes a Judge, whether serving or retired District and Sessions Judge, who was appointed Judge of a Court before the commencement of the National Accountability Bureau (Amendment) Ordinance, 2001;
(j) “Deputy Chairman National Accountability Bureau” means the person appointed as Deputy Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau by the President.
(k) “National Accountability Bureau” means the Bureau set up and notified under this Ordinance, (hereinafter referred to as NAB);
(l) “Freezing” includes attachment, sealing, prohibiting, holding, controlling or managing any property either through a Receiver or otherwise as may be directed by the Court or Chairman NAB, and in case it is deemed necessary the disposal thereof, by sale through auction or negotiation subject to confirmation by the Court or by Chairman NAB as the case may be after public notice.
(m) “Holder of public office” means a person who-
(I) has been President of Pakistan or the Governor of a Province.
(ii) is, or has been the Prime Minister, Chairman Senate, Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Federal Minister, Minister of State, Attorney General and other Law Officer appointed under the Central Law Officers Ordinance, 1970 (VII of 1970), Advisor to the Prime Minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Federal Parliamentary Secretary, Member of Parliament, Auditor General, Political Secretary, Consultant to the Prime Minister and holds or has held a post or office with the rank or status of a Federal Minister or Minister of State;
(iii) is, or has been, the Chief Minister, Speaker Provincial Assembly, Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly, Provincial Minister, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister, Provincial Parliamentary Secretary, Member of the Provincial Assembly, Advocate General including Additional Advocate General and Assistant Advocate General, Political Secretary, Consultant to the Chief Minister and who holds or has held a post or office with the rank or status of a Provincial Minister;
(iv) is holding, or has held, an office or post in the service of Pakistan, or any service in connection with the affairs of the Federation, or of a Province, or of a local council constituted under any Federal or Provincial law relating to the constitution of local councils, cooperative societies or in the management of corporations, banks, financial institutions, firms, concerns, undertakings or any to her institution or organization established, controlled or administered by or under the Federal Government or a Provincial Government, other than a person who is a member of any of the armed forces of Pakistan, except a person who is, or has been a member of the said forces and is holding, or has held, a post or office in any public corporation, bank, financial institution, undertaking or other organization established, controlled or administered by or under the Federal Government or a Provincial Government or, notwithstanding anything contained in the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 (XXXIX of 1952), or any other law for the time being in force, a person who is a civilian employee of the Armed Forces of Pakistan;
(v) has been, the Chairman or Vice Chairman of a zeal council, a municipal committee, a municipal corporation or a metropolitan corporation constituted under any Federal or Provincial law relating to local councils; and
“Explanation” For the purpose of this sub-clause the expressions “Chairman” and “Vice Chairman” shall include “Mayor” and
“Deputy Mayor” as the case may be, and the respective councilors therein.
(Van) is or has been a District Nazism or Nib Nazism, Tehsil Nazism or Nib Nazism or Union Nazism or Nib Nazism;
(vi) Has served in and retired or resigned from or has been discharged or dismissed from the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
(n) “Offence” means the offences of corruption and corrupt practices and other offences as defined in this Ordinance and includes the offences specified in the Schedule to this Ordinance.
(o) “PERSON”, unless the context otherwise so requires, includes in the case of a company or a body corporate, the sponsors, Chairman, Chief Executive, Managing Director, elected Directors, by whatever name called, and guarantors of the company or body corporate or any one exercising direction or control of the affairs of such company or a body corporate; and in the case of any firm, partnership or sole proprietorship, the partners, proprietor or any person having any interest in the said firm, partnership or proprietorship concern or direction or control thereof;
(p) “Property” includes any or all movable and immovable properties situated within or outside Pakistan;
(q) “Government Property” means property belonging to the Government and includes gifts, donations, financial assistance, grants, aid received or collected in whatever name or for whatever purpose by a holder of public office during the tenure of office; and;
(r) “Willful default”: a person or a holder of public office is said to commit an offence of willful default under this Ordinance if he does not pay, or continues not to pay, or return or repay the amount due from him to any bank, financial institution, cooperative society, Government department , statutory body or an authority established or controlled by a Government on the date that it became due as per agreement containing the obligation to pay, return or repay or according to the laws, rules, regulations, instructions, issued or notified by the State Bank of Pakistan, or the b ankh, financial institution, cooperative society, Government Department, statutory body or an authority established or controlled by a Government, as the case may be, and a 1thirty days notice has been given to such person or holder of public office.
Provided that it is not willful default under this Ordinance if such person or holder of public office was unable to pay return or repay the amount as aforesaid on account of any willful breach of agreement or obligation or failure to perform statutory duty on the part of any bank, financial institution, cooperative society, government department, statutory body or an authority established or controlled by Government:
Provided further that in the case of default concerning a bank or a financial institution a seven days notice has also been given to such person or holder of public office by the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan:
Provided further that the aforesaid thirty days or seven days notice shall not apply to cases pending trial at the time of promulgate on of the National Accountability Bureau (Amendment) Ordinance, 2001.”
5A. Tenure of a Judge
(1) A Judge of a Court who is a serving District and Sessions Judge shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of his initial appointment as such Judge.
(2) An incumbent Judge who on the 24th April, 2001, is not a serving District and Sessions Judge and has exercised option to serve as a Judge shall continue for a period of three years from the date of his initial appointment as such Judge.
(3) An incumbent Judge who is a serving District and Sessions Judge and retires while serving as such Judge shall, subject to his option, continue for a period of three years from the date of his initial appointment as such Judge.
(4) A Judge shall not be removed or transferred from his office before the completion of the term with his office without consultation of the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned.
Pensioner benefits to serving District and Sessions Judge retiring while serving as Judge of a Court. – Where a serving District and Sessions Judge retires while serving as a Judge of a Court, he shall be entitled to such pension as would have been admissible to him in his service as District and Sessions Judge, had he not been appointed as Judge of a Court, his service as a Judge of a Court being treated as service for the purpose of
Calculating that pension.
6. National Accountability Bureau
(a) There shall be constituted a National Accountability Bureau for the whole of Pakistan.
(b) Chairman, National Accountability Bureau:
(I) There shall be a Chairman NAB to be appointed by the President in consultation with the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly for a non-extendable period of four years on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the President and shall not be removed except on the grounds of removal of Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan;
Provided that the present incumbent of the office of Chairman, NAB, shall complete the period of four years from the date of his initial appointment.
(ii) The Chairman NAB may, in writing under his hand, addressed to the President, resign his office.
(Bad) A person shall not be appointed as Chairman NAB unless he-
(I) is a retired Chief Justice or a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court; or
(ii) Is a retired officer of the Armed Forces of Pakistan equivalent to the rank of a Lieutenant General; or
(iii) Is a retired Federal Government Officer in BPS 22 or equivalent.” and
(c) Acting Chairman, National Accountability Bureau:
As and when the Chairman NAB is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any reason whatsoever, the Deputy Chairman NAB, will act as the Chairman NAB, and in case the Deputy Chairman NAB, is absent or unable to perform the functions of the office, any officer of the NAB duly authorized by the Chairman NAB, to act as Chairman NAB, shall act as the Chairman NAB.
7. Deputy Chairman, National Accountability Bureau
(a) There shall be a Deputy Chairman NAB appointed by the President in consultation with the Chairman NAB. The Deputy Chairman NAB shall assist the Chairman NAB in the performance of his duties and shall carry out such functions as may be directed by the Chairman NAB.
(a) A person shall not be appointed as Deputy Chairman NAB unless he-
(I) is or has been an officer of the Armed Forces of Pakistan equivalent to the rank of a Major General; or
(ii) Is or has been a Federal Government officer in BPS 21 or equivalent;
(b) The Deputy Chairman NAB shall hold office for a non-extendable period of three years and shall not be removed except on the ground of misconduct as defined in sub-rule (4) of rule 2 of the Government Servants (Efficiency & Discipline) Rules, 1973.
8. Prosecutor General Accountability
(I) The President of Pakistan, in consultation with the Chairman NAB, may appoint any person, who is qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court, as Prosecutor General Accountability.
(ii) The Prosecutor General Accountability shall hold independent office on whole time basis and shall not hold any other office concurrently.
(iii) The Prosecutor General Accountability shall hold office for a non-extendable period of three years.
(iv) The Prosecutor General Accountability shall not be removed from office except on the grounds of removal of a Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
(v) The Prosecutor General Accountability may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President of Pakistan, resign his office.
(b) The Prosecutor General Accountability shall give advice to the Chairman NAB upon such legal matters and perform such other duties of a legal character as may be referred or assigned to him by the Chairman NAB and in the performance of his duties, he shall have the right of audience in all Courts established under this Ordinance and all other Courts including the Supreme Court and a High Court and Tribunals.
(c) The Prosecutor General Accountability, with the approval of Chairman NAB, may appoint Special Prosecutors to conduct prosecution of cases and to appoint advocates to institute or defend cases, appeals, petitions, applications and all other matters before any court or tribunal including the High Courts and Supreme Court in matters arising out of or relating to proceedings under this Ordinance.
(d) In case the Prosecutor General Accountability is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any reason whatsoever, any other Law Officer of the NAB, duly authorised by the Chairman NAB, shall act as the Prosecutor General Accountability.
9. Corruption and corrupt practices
(a) A holder of a public office, or any other person, is said to commit or to have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices-
(i) if he accepts or obtains from any person or offers any gratification directly or indirectly, other than legal remuneration, as a motive or reward such as is specified in section 161 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860) for doing or for-bearing to do any official act, or for showing or for-bearing to show, in the exercise of his official functions, favour or disfavour to any person, or for rendering or attempting to render any service or disservice to any person; or
(ii) if he accepts or obtains or offers any valuable thing without consideration, or for a consideration which he knows to be inadequate, from any person whom he knows to have been, or likely to be, concerned in any proceeding or business transacted or about to be transacted by him, or having any connection with his official functions or from any person whom he knows to be interested in or related to the person so concerned; or
(iii) if he dishonestly or fraudulently misappropriates or otherwise converts for his own use, or for the use of any other person, any property entrusted to him, or under his control, or willfully allows any other person so to do; or
(iv) if he by corrupt, dishonest, or illegal means, obtains or seeks to obtain for himself, or for his spouse or dependents or any other person, any property, valuable thing, or pecuniary advantage; or (v) if he or any of his dependents or benamindars owns, possesses, or has acquired right or title in any assets or holds irrevocable power of attorney in respect of any assets or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot reasonably account for or maintains a standard of living beyond that which is commensurate with his sources of income; or
(vi) if he misuses his authority so as to gain any benefit or favour for himself or any other person, or renders or attempts to render 1or willfully fails to exercise his authority to prevent the grant, or rendition of any undue benefit or favour which he could have prevented by exercising his authority.
(vii) if he has issued any directive, policy, or any SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) or any other order which grants or attempts to grant any 1undue concession or benefit in any taxation matter or law or otherwise so as to benefit himself or any relative or associate or a benamidar or any other person.
(viii) If he commits an offence of willful default, and; or
(ix) if he commits the offence of cheating as defined in section 415 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860), and thereby dishonestly induces members of the public at large to deliver any property including money or valuable security to any person; or
(x) if he commits the offence of criminal breach of trust as defined in section 405 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860) with regard to any property including money or valuable security entrusted to him by members of the public at large;
(xi) if he, in his capacity as a banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or agent, commits criminal breach of trust as provided in section 409 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860) in respect of property entrusted to him or over which he has dominion; and
(xii) if he aids, assists, abets, attempts or acts in conspiracy with a person or a holder of public office accused of an offence as provided in clauses (i) to (xi).”; and
(b) All offences under this Ordinance shall be non-bailable and, notwithstanding anything contained in section 2426, 491, 497, 498 and 561 A or any other provision of the Code, or any other law for the time being in force no Court shall have jurisdiction to grant bail to any person accused of any offence under this Ordinance.
(c) If after completing the investigation of an offence against a holder of public office or any other person, the Chairman NAB is satisfied that no prima facie case is made out against him and the case may be closed, the Chairman NAB shall refer the matter to a Court for approval and for the release of the accused, if in custody.
10. Punishment for corruption and corrupt practices
(a) A holder of public office, or any other person who commits the offence of corruption and corrupt practices shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years and with fine and such of the assets and pecuniary resources of such holder of public office or person, as are found to be disproportionate to the known sources of his income or which are acquired by money obtained through corruption and corrupt practices whether in his name or in the name of any of his dependents, or benamindars shall be forfeited to the appropriate Government, or the concerned bank or financial institution as the case may be.
(b) The offences specified in the Schedule to this Ordinance shall be punishable in the manner specified therein.
(c) The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, amend the Schedule so as to add any entry thereto or modify or omit any entry therein.
(d) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, an accused convicted by the Courts of an offence under this Ordinance, shall not be entitled to any remission in his sentence.
11. Imposition of fine
Where an accused found guilty of an offence is sentenced to pay a fine, the amount of the fine shall in no case be less than the gain de rived by the accused or any relative or associate by the commission of the offence.
12. Power to freeze property
(a) The Chairman NAB or the Court trying an accused for any offence as specified under this Ordinance, may, at any time, if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed such an offence, order the freezing of his property, or part thereof, whether in his possession or in the possession of any relative, associate or person on his behalf.
(b) If the property ordered to be frozen under sub-section (a) is a debt or other movable property, the freezing may be made:
(i) By seizure; or
(ii) By appointment of receiver; or
(iii) By prohibiting the delivery of such property to the accused or to anyone on his behalf; or
(iv) By all or any of such or other methods as the Court or the Chairman NAB as the case may be, deem fit.
(c) If the property ordered to be frozen is immovable, the freezing shall, in the case of land paying revenue, be made through the Collector of the district in which the land is situated, and in all other cases-
(i) By taking possession; or
(ii) By appointment of receiver; or
(iii) By prohibiting the payment of rent or delivery of property to the accused or to any other person on his behalf; or
(iv) By all or any of such methods as the Chairman NAB or the Court may deem fit:
Provided that any order of seizure, freezing, attachment or any prohibitory order mentioned above by the Chairman NAB, shall remain in force for a period not exceeding fifteen days unless confirmed by the Court, where the Reference under this Ordinance shall be sent by the Chairman NAB:
Provided further that notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, that the order of Chairman NAB or the Court shall be effective from the time of passing thereof or proclamation thereof in a newspaper, widely circulated and dispatch at the last known address of the accused either by registered post A.D. or courier service or electronic media as the Court may deem proper having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case.
(d) If the property ordered to be frozen consists of livestock or is of a perishable nature, the Chairman NAB, or the Court may, if it deems proper and expedient, order the immediate sale thereof and the proceeds of the sale may be deposited with the Chairman NAB or the Court, or as either may direct as appropriate.
(e) The powers, duties, and liabilities of a receiver, if any, appointed under this section shall be the same as those of a receiver appointed under Order – XL of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908).
(f) The order of freezing mentioned in sub-sections ‘a’ to ‘e’ shall remain operative until the final disposal of the case by the Court, and in the event of the acquittal of the accused, shall continue to remain operative for a period of t en days after receipt of certified copy of the order of acquittal or release by NAB, where after it shall be subject to an order by the court in which an appeal, if any, is filed.
13. Claim or objection against freezing
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any law for the time being in force, the Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate upon all claims or objections against the freezing of any property under section 12 above. Such claims or objections shall be made before the Court within 14 days from the date of the order freezing such property.
(b) The Court may for sufficient cause extend the time for filing such claims or objections for a period not exceeding additional 14 days.
(c) 2The accused or any other aggrieved party, whose claim or objection against freezing of property has been dismissed by the Court, may, within ten days file an appeal against such order before the High Court.
14. Presumption against accused accepting illegal gratification
(a) Where in any trial of an offence under clauses (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of sub-section (a) of section 9 it is proved that an accused person has accepted or obtained, or has agreed to accept or attempted to obtain, for himself or for any other person any gratification, other than legal remuneration, or any valuable thing, or any pecuniary advantage from a person or any agent of a person, for any favor shown or promised to be shown by the accused, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he accepted or obtained, or agreed to accept or attempted to obtain, that gratification or that valuable thing or pecuniary advantage for himself or some other person, as the case may be, as a motive or a reward such as is specified in section 161 to 163 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860), or, as the case may be, without consideration, or for a consideration which he believed to be inadequate.
(b) Wherein any trial of an offence punishable under section 165A of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860) it is proved that any gratification other than legal remuneration or any valuable thing has been given, or offered to be given, or attempted to be given, by any accused person, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he gave, or offered to give, or attempted to give, that gratification, or that valuable thing, as the case may be, as a motive or a reward such as is specified in section 161 to 163 of the said Code, or, as the case may be, without consideration or for a consideration which he believed to be inadequate.
(c) In any trial of an offence punishable under clause (v) of subsection (a) of section 9 of this Ordinance, the fact that the accused person or any other person on his behalf, is in possession, for which the accused person cannot satisfactorily account, of assets or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, or that such person has, at or about the time of the commission of the offence with which he is charged, obtained an accretion to his pecuniary resources or property for which he cannot satisfactorily account, the Court shall presume, unless the contrary is proved, that the accused person is guilty of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices and his conviction therefore shall not be invalid by reason only that it is based solely on such a presumption.
(d) In any trial of an offence under clauses (vi) and (vii) of section 9, the burden of proof that he used his authority, or issued any directive, or authorized the issuance of any policy or statutory rule or order (SRO), or made any grant or allowed any concession, in the public interest, fairly, justly, and for the advancement of the purpose of the enactment under which the authority was used, directive or policy or rule or order was issued or grant was made or concession was allowed shall lie on the accused, and in the absence of such proof the accused shall be guilty of the offence,
And his conviction shall not be invalid by the reason that it is based solely on such presumption:
Provided that the prosecution shall first make out a reasonable case against the accused charged under clause (vi) or clause (vii) of sub-section (a) of section 9.
15. Disqualification to contest elections or to hold public office
(a) Where an accused person is convicted of an offence under section 9 of this Ordinance he shall forthwith cease to hold public office, if any, held by him and further he shall stand disqualified for a period of ten years, to be reckoned from the date he is released after serving the sentence, 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:
Provided that any accused person who has availed the benefit of sub-section (b) of section 25 shall also be deemed to have been convicted for an offence under this Ordinance, and shall forthwith cease to hold public office, if any, held by him and further he shall stand disqualified for a period of ten years, to be reckoned from the date he has discharged his 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 ser vice of Pakistan or of any Province.
(b) Any person convicted of an offence under section 9 of this Ordinance sh