Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that the National Accountability Bureau has power to arrest a suspect without issuing a summon.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh issued a written order, stating that the anti-graft watchdog has right to arrest a suspect if it has irrefutable evidence.
“In such a scenario, it is not required to summon the suspect,” the bench said.
The apex court, however, expressed hope that the bureau would not abuse the power granted upon it.
The court stated that after examining the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, it is found that no limitation has been imposed on the anti-graft body to inform the accused.
“Needless to say, if sufficient material has been gathered to connect a person to the commission of an offence, obviously NAB can arrest such a person,” the Supreme Court clarified.
The order said that they [court] do not expect the accountability bureau to misuse such power adding that the civil petition had been disposed of following the observation.
The National Accountability Bureau has faced criticism owing to its exercise of authority to arrest the accused off-guard, however, the top court’s order has now interpreted the authority loud and clear.
The apex court is also set to examine the overall functioning of the body as the Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has recently taken a suo moto notice of the letter forwarded by Brig (r) Asad Munir before his suicide in which he had expressed his displeasure at the treatment meted out to accused during the probe.