Law Ministry declines provision of details of agreement between NAB and Broadsheet to Senate

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Law and Justice has refused to provide details of an agreement inked between National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Broadsheet LLC  in the year 2000 to the upper house of Parliament, saying that the confidentially of the agreement restricts the disclosure of the content.

Documents available with Pakistan Today , reveal that there is currently a confidentially agreement signed between NAB and Broadsheet which restricts disclosure of contents pertaining to the aforesaid matter. In addition, the subject appeal is sub judice before the High Court of Justice in England and is therefore under judicial consideration.

Furthermore, the information solicited falls under the purview of rule 50(xx)of the Rules of Procedure. According to the rule, “It shall not ordinarily ask about matters pending before any statutory tribunal or statutory authority performing any judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any commission or court of inquiry appointed to enquire into or investigate any matter but may refer to matters concerned with procedure or subject or stage of enquiry if it is not likely to prejudice the consideration of the matters by the tribunal or commission or court of inquiry.”

Consequently, according to documents, the information required cannot be disclosed at present.

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Sources in Law and Justice Ministry said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had signed an agreement with Broadsheet in 2000 to find out the properties of Pakistanis in England.

As per agreement, after finding out the properties, NAB will charge these Pakistanis and Broadsheet will get its share from the collection. However, the agreement ended in 2003.

According to sources broadsheet claimed that properties of four business tycoons including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were found out. But NAB has not paid Broadsheet its share.

Broadsheet secured a decision of Rs3 billion penalty on NAB.  The details of the penalty were sought by Senate from the Law Ministry. However, the ministry has so far declined to provide details to Senate pertaining to the matter.

Broadsheet LLC had earlier filed a case against NAB for imposing $340 million in penalty.

It is also learnt that the agreement between NAB and Broadsheet has been proving an additional burden on the national exchequer.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is reportedly well aware about the matter and is likely to initiate an inquiry against payment of more than $500 million to end dispute between NAB and Broadsheet.

The payment was given to some other company instead of Broadsheet in the previous tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

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Ahmad Ahmadani
Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]
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