Corrupt persons to stand Permanently Disqualified
from holding Public Office or from being a Government Servant
Chitral Times Report
Islamabad: Federal Finance Minister and Chairman Laws Review
Committee, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, held a press conference at
Punjab House, Islamabad today, in which he stated that under
directions of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on January 05, 2017,
the Laws Review Committee has examined and proposed amendments in
Section 15 and substitution of Section 25 of the National
Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (“NAO”).
With approval of the Prime Minister and the Federal Cabinet, the
government has decided to immediately promulgate the National
Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, to give immediate
effect to the aforementioned amendments.
The Ordinance will be laid in the Senate session starting on Monday
January 09, 2017.
Prior to the promulgation of the National Accountability
(Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, NAO contains provisions for voluntary
return and plea bargain. The provision for voluntary return did not
entail disqualification of a holder of public office or dismissal
of a government servant who enters into voluntary return
arrangements. Nor did it require approval of the Accountability
Court. The result was that a corrupt person who voluntarily
returned the proceeds of corruption could continue to be a holder
of public office or a government servant.
The provision for plea bargain required approval of the Court but
disqualification to hold a public office was for a period of ten
Accordingly, the Laws Review Committee has proposed certain
amendments, the salient features of which are as follows:
(i) The provisions of voluntary return and plea bargain have been
(ii) A voluntary return arrangement will now be subject to approval
of the Court, and will not be at the discretion of Chairman, NAB.
(iii) The person entering into such arrangement shall be deemed to
be convicted and;
(a) shall stand disqualified from being a holder of public office;
(b) if in government service shall stand dismissed without any
pecuniary benefits and shall not thereafter be eligible to hold
(iv) A person convicted by the Court for corruption and corrupt
practices shall cease to hold public office and shall stand
disqualified from being a holder of public office in future.
Upon promulgation of the National Accountability (Amendment)
Ordinance, 2017, the aforementioned amendments will become
operative with immediate effect.
Furthermore, in accordance with unanimous motions passed by the
National Assembly and Senate, the Speaker National Assembly in
consultation with the Chairman, Senate and Leaders of the
Parliamentary Parties has constituted a 20-member Parliamentary
Committee comprising 13-MNAs and 07-Senators “to revisit the
National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and recommend necessary
amendments therein”. The Committee is likely to commence its work
in the week beginning January 09, 2017.
The Finance Minister was accompanied at the press conference by Mr.
Zahid Hamid, Minister for Law and Justice, Ms. Anusha Rahman,
Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Khawaja Zaheer Ahmed, Special
Assistant to Prime Minister, and Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Special
Assistant to the Prime Minister on Law.