SC calls for NLC scam record on NAB hesitation
A Supreme Court bench on Monday called for the complete record of the Rs4 billion armyrun National Logistic Cell (NLC) scam despite the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) request not to treat 'the sensitive and confidential' stuff as a public document.
Additional Prosecutor General NAB Akbar Tarar's submission that NAB has already issued notices to the respondents in the scam did not impress the three-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja. The court told him that it will determine how to treat the matter after going through the record and observed that NAB's hesitation fueled the curiosity of the court.
A supplementary list of 29 mega scams that NAB submitted, in addition to the 150 scandals furnished earlier, mentioned the NLC case, instituted for unauthorised investment in the Stock Exchange and financial irregularities. In its case, NAB stated that it received no reply nor record in response to its repeated reminders to the NLC and the GHQ since January 2012.
Initiated on the complaint of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly, the initial inquiries conducted by the Planning Commission had pointed the finger at former Quarter-Master Generals (QMGs) retired Lt-Gen Khalid Munir Khan and retired Lt-Gen M. Afzal Muzaffar; and former director general NLC retired Maj-Gen Khalid Zaheer Akhtar.
On Monday, the APG informed the Supreme Court that after the latest NAB communication to the GHQ, it came to know, for the first time, the action the army had taken against the officers. An army announcement on August 5 disclosed that retired Maj-Gen Khalid Zahir Akhtar had been dismissed from service that also entails forfeiture of rank, decorations, medals, honours, awards, seizure of pension, recovery of personal gains, cancellation of service benefits etc, while retired Lt-Gen Afzal Muzzafar was awarded severe displeasure under the Pakistan Army Act.
Retired Lt-Gen Khalid Munir Khan was exonerated, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Saeedur Rehman, a civilian, was found guilty. The army authorities suggested that NAB can initiate investigation against the civilian Saeedur Rehman, said the APG. That did not appear to satisfy the court, however. It asked the APG why did not NAB possess any record against the army officers in the NLC case. Expressing concern, the court asked about any statutory law that bars NAB from conducting parallel inquiry against the NLC scam accused despite the award of punishment to the accused by the army authorities.