IHC deems NAB executive powers harmful to country’s economy
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has declared abuse of arrest powers by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) harmful to the economy, investment policies and foreign policy interests of the State.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, in his detailed judgment on the 4G licensing, remarked that incompetence, lack of professional expertise and proper training to deal with white-collar crime, besides jeopardizing constitutional rights, can have deleterious consequences for the governance system and cause harm to the economy.
The judgment stressed that an effective and efficient accountability process or mechanism is an integral part of a democratic system and a precondition for upholding the rule of law.
But, the foundational principle or requirement for an effective and credible accountability entity, such as the bureau, is the trust and confidence of the people in its fairness, impartiality, professionalism and, above all, that it is free from discrimination.
“Arbitrary or indiscriminate exercise of executive powers vested in such entities, instead of achieving the public interest for which it has been established, could greatly harm other public interests,” the court said.
The court remarked that there is no doubt that corruption is one of the biggest evils that can plague the governance system of a country as it affects everyone, but ‘the most vulnerable and downtrodden are the real victims and thus cannot be tolerated in any form’.
Therefore, “across the board accountability in a transparent manner and free from discrimination and arbitrary exercise of powers is inevitable to meet the challenges faced due to the menace of corruption,” IHC said and stressed on “Professional training, qualification and expertise of the investigators and prosecutors to deal with white-collar crimes.”