President Alvi also returns NAB (Amend) Bill unsigned

By: 24 News
Published: 04:15 PM, 20 Jun, 2022
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President Dr Arif Alvi has also sent back the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill unsigned saying the Bill as passed by the Parliament is regressive in nature, it will promote corruption by ensuring that the long arm of the law has been crippled, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

However, in view of the ‘deeming’ provision under Article 75 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will be enacted into law even if the President of Pakistan does not sign it.

The President of Pakistan official Twitter handle wrote on Monday: ’President has not signed the bill amending NAB Ordinance. He wrote that as conceived originally, the bill took inspiration from Hazrat Umar’s incident when asked about source of extra cloth in his cloak. The onus in financial crimes is on the accused to provide a money trail.

“Unfortunately there were flaws in NABs implementation. It was misused for political exigencies by those in power & by vested interests. While public clamored for return of looted wealth, long judicial processes & poor prosecution failed most efforts. Instead of improving the law to avoid miscarriage, to close loopholes & make it stronger, we are weakening it beyond recognition. These changes will demolish accountability, creating a façade of justice that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture ensuring exploitation of the common man in an unjust society.

“Poor will continue to be jailed for petty crimes while corrupt rich will be free to loot & plunder. He said that: I personally abide by the Constitution, we must act upon injunctions of Quran and Sunnah, and above all I am answerable to Allah asking for His forgiveness.”

The President in his rejection summary stated: “The world has struggled to control white collar crime. Black money acquired through tax evasion, or through other avenues of crime and corruption, especially by politically exposed persons, does not leave easy tracks or a trail that can be followed. Exercise undertaken under FATF itself is an example of decades long efforts to block all avenues of money laundering. This is where we take inspiration from Islam.

“A strong effort for improvement was desperately needed. Our experiences of the last few decades should have guided us; to modify the law, avoid its miscarriage … I believe the Bill as passed by the Parliament is regressive in nature, it will promote corruption by ensuring that the long arm of the law has been crippled. It is also a message to the corrupt who have amassed tremendous wealth, of which there is no doubt in the minds of the people of Pakistan, that they are not accountable and are free to continue to plunder. The small man will be caught for petty crimes while the corrupt rich will remain free to continue with their blood sucking abhorrent practices. Having weak accountability is against the basic rights of the people of Pakistan who are the suffering masses, and therefore, it is also against the fundamentals of our Constitution itself.

“It is sad that rather than structurally improving the institution, the enactment of these amendments is like demolishing the process of accountability without an alternate system being in place, making it sterile and allowing extractive institutions and practices to prosper. Weak laws such as this one, create a facade of justice that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture, and nations that accommodate such laws ensure a very damaging exploitation of the common man, perpetuating an unjust society.”

President Alvi on Sunday also returned the Elections (Amendment) EVM/OP Bill, 2022 unsigned white citing reason that ‘Bill is anti-progress and regressive’. In this regard, he referred to Article 75 (2) of Constitution of Pakistan which said “When the President has returned a Bill to the Majlis-e Shoora (Parliament), it shall be reconsidered by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting and, if it is again passed, with or without amendment, by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), by the votes of the majority of the members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed for the purposes of the Constitution to have been passed by both Houses and shall be presented to the President, and the President shall give his assent within ten days, failing which such assent shall be deemed to have been given.”

He further noted that it has been very painful to him as ‘President of Pakistan’ to not sign a bill passed by the Majlis-e-Shoora. Therefore, he must record his reasons for posterity.

Reporter Awais Kiyani