President Alvi returns NAB (Amendment) Bill 2022 unsigned

President Alvi returns NAB (Amendment) Bill 2022 unsigned

Islamabad (Web Desk): President Dr Arif Alvi has returned the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2022 without according his assent.

As per a statement by the Presidency, while returning the bill unsigned, the president said it is regressive in nature and will promote corruption by ensuring that the long arm of the law is crippled.

President Alvi said that he is aware of the fact that under Article 75 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan the bill will be enacted into law even if the President of Pakistan does not sign it.

The president said the bill also sent a message to the corrupt, who he claimed had amassed tremendous wealth, that they were not accountable and were free to continue to plunder the country.

He said that the president lamented that 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, it is also against the fundamentals of our Constitution," the statement added.

Elaborating on the reasons behind not signing the bill, President Alvi said it had been observed that there were flaws in the implementation of the NAB Ordinance.

"This law, like all other laws vesting authority in the executive, was abused for political exigencies by those in power. Because of this reason, along with the role of vested interests, the accountability process in Pakistan became quite ineffective. While the public clamoured for the return of looted wealth, the long judicial processes involved and ineffective prosecution actually made it very difficult to expose, prevent and eliminate corruption," the president said.

President Alvi said that rather than structurally improving the institution, the enactment of the amendments promulgated was akin to "demolishing the process of accountability without an alternate system being in place".

"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 very damaging exploitation of the common man perpetuating an unjust society," he stated, adding that his conscience did not allow him to sign the bill.

It is pertinent to mention that the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed by the joint sitting of the Parliament and will become a law under Article 75 (2) of the Constitution, which states that a bill once returned by the President, if is passed by the joint sitting of the Parliament, with or without amendment, is deemed to have been given assent, after 10-days.