NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU
(No. XVIII of 1999)
AS AMENDED THROUGH
ORDINANCE NO XIX OF 1999
ORDINANCE NO IV OF 2000
NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU ORDINANCE
(No. XVIII of 1999)
to provide for the setting up of a National Accountability Bureau so as to
eradicate corruption and corrupt practices and hold accountable all those
persons accused of such practices and matters ancillary thereto;
WHEREAS it is expedient and necessary to provide for effective measures for
the detection, investigation, prosecution and speedy disposal of cases involving
corruption, corrupt practices, misuse/abuse of power, misappropriation of
property, kickbacks, commissions and for matters connected and ancillary or
AND WHEREAS there is an emergent need for the recovery of outstanding
amounts from those persons who have committed default in the repayment of
amounts to Banks, Financial Institutions, government and other agencies;
AND WHEREAS there is a grave and urgent need for the recovery of state
money and other assets from those persons who have misappropriated or
removed such assets through corruption, corrupt practices and misuse of power
AND WHEREAS it is necessary that a National Accountability Bureau be set
up so as to achieve the above aims;
AND WHEREAS the National Assembly and the Senate stand suspended in
pursuance of the Proclamation of the Fourteenth day of October 1999 and the
Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999, as amended;
AND WHEREAS the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which
renders it necessary to take immediate action;
NOW THEREFORE, in pursuance of the aforesaid Proclamation and
Provisional Constitutional Order as well as Order No. 9 of 1999, and in exercise
of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President of the Islamic Republic
of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-
1. Title: This Ordinance may be called the National Accountability Bureau
Ordinance, 1999 (No XVIII of 1999).
2. Commencement: This Ordinance shall come into force at once and
shall be deemed to have come into force from the 1st day of January 1985.
3. Ordinance to override other laws: The provisions of this Ordinance
shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for
the time being in force.
4. Application: It extends to the whole of Pakistan and shall apply to all
persons in Pakistan, and persons who are or have been in the service of
Pakistan wherever they may be, including areas which are part of
Federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.
a. “Accused” shall include a person in respect of whom there are
reasonable grounds to believe, is or has been involved in the
commission of any offence triable under this Ordinance and/or is
subject of an investigation/inquiry by the National Accountability
Bureau, or concerned Agency.
b. “Appropriate Government” means in relation to any person
serving in connection with the affairs of the Federation, including
any person employed by a corporation, body, financial institution,
bank, authority undertaking or any other organization set up,
controlled or administered by or under the authority of the Federal
Government or the Provincial Government concerned.
c. “Assets” means any property owned, controlled by or belonging to
any accused, whether directly or indirectly, or held benami in the
name of his spouse or relatives or associates, whether within or
outside Pakistan, for which they cannot reasonably account, or for
which they cannot prove payment of full and lawful consideration.
d. “Associates” means:-
i. any individual who is or has been managing the affairs for or
keeping accounts of the accused or who enjoys or has
enjoyed any benefit from the assets referred to above.
ii. any association of persons, body of individuals, partnership
firms or private limited companies within the meaning of
Companies Ordinance 1984, of which such a person is or has
been a member, partner or director or which have been
promoted, floated, established or run by the same group of
iii. any trustee of a Private Trust.
iv. any person who ostensibly holds or is in possession or
custody of any property of an accused on his behalf for the
benefit and enjoyment of the accused.
e. “Chairman National Accountability Bureau” means a person
who is appointed as such by the President of the Islamic Republic
of Pakistan as mentioned in Section 6 (b) hereafter.
f. “Code” means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
fa. “Conciliation Committee” means the Conciliation Committee
constituted under section 25A;
g. “Court” means an Accountability Court which shall consist of a
Judge who shall be appointed by the President of Pakistan after
consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan through notification
in the official Gazette.
h. “Judge” means a person who has been a Judge of the High Court,
is, or has been a District & Sessions Judge qualified to be a Judge
of the High Court or any lawyer who is qualified to be a Judge of
the High Court.
j. “Deputy Chairman” means the person appointed as Deputy
Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau by the Chief
Executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
k. “National Accountability Bureau” means the Bureau set up and
notified under this Ordinance, (hereinafter known as NAB).
l. “Freezing” includes attachment, sealing, prohibition, holding,
controlling and/or managing any property either through a Receiver
or otherwise as may be directed by the Court or Chairman NAB,
and in case it is deemed necessary the disposal thereof, by sale
through auction or negotiation subject to confirmation by the Court
or by Chairman National Accountability Bureau as the case may be
after public notice.
m. “Holder of Public Office” means a person who :-
i. has been the President of Pakistan or the Governor of a
ii. is, or has been the Prime Minister, Chairman Senate,
Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Speaker National
Assembly, Federal Minister, Minister of State, Attorney
General and other Law Officer appointed under the Central
Law Officers Ordinance, 1970 (VII of 1970), Advisor to the
Prime Minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister,
Federal Parliamentary Secretary, Member of Parliament,
Auditor General, Political Secretary, Advisor or Consultant
to the Prime Minister and holds or has held a post or office
with the rank or status of a Federal Minister or Minister of
iii. is, or has been, the Chief Minister, Speaker Provincial
Assembly, Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly, Provincial
Minister, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Special Assistant to
the Chief Minister, Provincial Parliamentary Secretary,
Member of the Provincial Assembly, Advocate General
including Additional Advocate General and Assistant
Advocate General, Political Secretary, Advisor or Consultant
to the Chief Minister and who holds or has held a post or
office with the rank or status of a Provincial Minister;
iv. is holding, or has held, an office or post in the service of
Pakistan, or any service in connection with the affairs of the
Federation, or of a Province, or of a local council constituted
under any Federal or Provincial law relating to the
constitution of local councils, or in the management of
corporations, banks, financial institutions, firms, concerns,
undertakings or any other institution or organization
established, controlled or administered by or under the
Federal Government or a Provincial Government, other than
a person who is a member of any of the armed forces of
Pakistan, or for the time being is subject to any law relating
to any of the said forces, except a person who is, or has been
a member of the said forces and is holding, or has held, a
post or office in any public corporation, bank, financial
institution, undertaking or other organization established,
controlled or administered by or under the Federal
Government or a Provincial Government;
v. is, or has been, the Chairman or Vice Chairman of a zila
council, a municipal committee, a municipal corporation or a
metropolitan corporation constituted under any Federal or
Provincial law relating to local councils.
“Explanation” For the purpose of this sub-clause the
expressions “Chairman” and “Vice Chairman” shall include
“Mayor” and “Deputy Mayor” as the case may be, and the
respective councilors therein.
vi. has served in and retired or resigned from or has been
discharged or dismissed from the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
n. “Offence” means the offences of corruption and corrupt practices
as defined in this Ordinance and includes those offences as
specified in the Schedule to this Ordinance.
o. “PERSON” includes in the case of a corporate body, the sponsors,
Chairman, Chief Executive, Managing Director, elected Directors,
by whatever name called, and guarantors of the company or any
one exercising direction or control of the affairs of such corporate
body, but will not include employees appointed and designated as
Director or Chief Executive; and in the case of any firm,
partnership or sole proprietorship, the partners, proprietor or any
person having interest in the said firm, partnership or
proprietorship concern or direction or control thereof.
p. “Property” includes any or all movable and immovable properties
situated within or outside Pakistan.
q. “Government Property” means both moveable & immovable
properties belonging to the Government and includes gifts,
donations, financial assistance, grants, aid received or collected in
whatever name or for whatever purpose during the tenure of office.
r. “Wilful Default”: a person is said to commit an offence of wilful
default under this Ordinance if he does not pay or return or repay
the amount to any bank, financial institution, cooperative society,
or a Government department or a statutory body or an authority
established or controlled by a Government on the date that it
became due according to the laws, rules, regulations, instructions,
issued or notified by a bank, including the State Bank of Pakistan,
financial institution, cooperative society, Government Department,
statutory body or an authority established or controlled by a
Government, as the case may be, and a period of thirty days has
Provided that it is not wilful default under this Ordinance if
the accused was unable to pay, return or repay the amount as
aforesaid on account of any wilful breach of agreement or
obligation or failure to perform statutory duty on the part of any
bank, financial institution, cooperative society or a Government
department or a statutory body or an authority established or
controlled by Government.
6. National Accountability Bureau:
a. There shall be constituted a National Accountability Bureau for the
whole of Pakistan.
b. Chairman National Accountability Bureau:
i. There shall be a Chairman NAB to be appointed by the
ii. The Chairman NAB shall be appointed on such terms and
conditions and shall have the status and privileges as may be
determined by the President.
iii. The Chairman NAB may resign his office by writing under
his hand addressed to the President.
c. Acting Chairman, National Accountability Bureau:
As and when the Chairman NAB is absent or unable to
perform the functions of his office due to any reason whatsoever,
the Deputy Chairman will act as the Chairman NAB, and in case
the Deputy Chairman is absent or unable to perform the functions
of the office, any other person duly authorized by the Chairman
NAB, to act as Chairman NAB.
7. Deputy Chairman, National Accountability Bureau:
a. There shall be a Deputy Chairman NAB appointed by the President
in consultation with the Chairman NAB. The Deputy Chairman
shall assist the Chairman in the performance of his duties and carry
out such functions as may be directed by the Chairman.
b. The Deputy Chairman shall serve at the pleasure of the President.
8. Prosecutor General Accountability.
a. The Chairman NAB may appoint any person to act as the
Prosecutor General Accountability, notwithstanding any other
appointment or office the latter may concurrently hold, upon such
terms and conditions as may be determined by the Chairman.
b. The Prosecutor General shall give advice to the Chairman NAB
upon such legal matters and perform such other duties of a legal
character as may be referred or assigned to him by the Chairman
NAB and in the performance of his duties, he shall have the right
of audience in all Courts established under this Ordinance and all
other Courts and Tribunals in Pakistan.
c. The Prosecutor General Accountability Bureau, in consultation
with the Attorney General of Pakistan, may, with prior approval of
the Chairman NAB, appoint Special Prosecutors to conduct
prosecution of specific cases under this Ordinance, before any
Accountability Court or any other Court or Tribunal.
9. Corruption and Corrupt Practices:
a. A holder of a public office, or any other person, is said to commit
or to have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt
i. If he accepts or obtains from any person or offers any
gratification directly or indirectly, other than legal
remuneration, as a motive or reward such as is specified in
section 161 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860)
for doing or for-bearing to do any official act, or for showing
or forbearing to show, in the exercise of his official
functions, favour or disfavour to any person, or for rendering
or attempting to render any service or disservice to any
ii. If he accepts or obtains or offers any valuable thing without
consideration, or for a consideration which he knows to be
inadequate, from any person whom he knows to have been,
or likely to be, concerned in any proceeding or business
transacted or about to be transacted by him, or having any
connection with his official functions or from any person
whom he knows to be interested in or related to the person
so concerned; or
iii. If he dishonestly or fraudulently misappropriates or
otherwise converts for his own use, or for the use of any
other person, any property entrusted to him, or under his
control, or willfully allows any other person so to do; or
iii. If he by corrupt, dishonest, or illegal means, obtains or seeks
to obtain for himself, or for his spouse and/or dependents or
any other person, any property, valuable thing, or pecuniary
v. If he or any of his dependents or benamidars owns,
possesses, or has any right or title in any movable or
immovable property or pecuniary resources disproportionate
to his known sources of income, which he cannot reasonably
account for; or
vi. Misuses his authority so as to gain any benefit or favour for
himself or any other person, or to render or attempt to do so;
vii. If he has issued any directive, policy, or any SRO (Statutory
Regulatory Order) or any other order which grants or enables
any concession or benefit in any taxation matter or law or
otherwise so as to benefit himself or any relative or associate
or a benamidar; or
vii. if he commits an offence of willful default.
b. All offences under this Order shall be non-bailable and,
notwithstanding anything contained in sections 426, 491, 497, 498
and 561A or any other provision of the Code, or any other law for
the time being in force no Court including the High Court shall
have jurisdiction to grant bail to any person accused of any offence
under this Order.
c. Where the Chairman NAB decides to release from custody or
detention a holder of a public office or any other person accused of
an offence under this Ordinance, he shall do so after considering
the gravity of the charge against such person and where the
accusation specifies any amount in respect of which the offence is
alleged to have been committed, he shall not be released unless
such amount is deposited with the NAB;
Provided that the Chairman NAB may impose other
conditions for release from custody or detention.
d. The amount deposited by the accused with the NAB shall be
transferred to the Federal Government or, as the case may be, a
Provincial Government or the concerned bank or financial
institution , etc, within one month of the date of such deposit.
10. Punishment for Corruption and Corrupt Practices:
a. A person who commits the offence of corruption and corrupt
practices shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which
may extend to 14 years, or with fine, or with both, and such of the
assets and property of such person which is found to be
disproportionate to the known sources of his income or which is
acquired by money obtained through corruption and corrupt
practices whether in his name or in the name of any of his
dependents, or benamidars shall be liable to be forfeited to the
b. Any person giving illegal gratification, or abetting, assisting or
aiding a holder of a public office, or receiving or holding any
property obtained or acquired by a holder of public office, through
corruption or corrupt practices, or being a beneficiary of any asset,
property or gain obtained through corruption or corrupt practices
shall fall within the scope of this section and shall be liable to the
same or a lesser punishment that may be awarded to a holder of a
public office as may be deemed fit by the Court.
11. Imposition of Fine: Where a person found guilty of an offence is
sentenced to pay a fine, irrespective of whether or not a sentence of
imprisonment is imposed, the amount of the fine shall in no case be less
than the gain derived by the accused or any relative or associate which
may be set off against the forfeited or frozen assets and property.
12. Power to freeze property:-
a. The Chairman NAB or the Court trying a person for any offence as
specified under this Ordinance, may, at any time, if there appear
reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed
such an offence, order the freezing of his property, movable or
immovable, or part thereof, whether in his possession or in the
possession of any relative, associate or person on his behalf;
b. If the property ordered to be frozen under sub-section (a) is a debt
or other movable property, the freezing may be made:-
i. by seizure; or
ii. by appointment of receiver; or
iii. by prohibiting the delivery of such property to the accused or
to anyone on his behalf; or
iv. by all or any of such or other methods as the Court or the
Chairman NAB as the case may be, deem fit;
c. If the property ordered to be frozen is immovable, the freezing
shall, in the case of land paying revenue, be made through the
Collector of the district in which the land is situated, and in all
i. by taking possession; or
ii. by appointment of receiver; or
iii. by prohibiting the payment of rent or delivery of property to
the accused or to any other person on his behalf; or
iv. by all or any of such methods as the Chairman NAB or the
Court may deem fit.
Provided that any Order of seizure, freezing, attachment or
any prohibitory order mentioned above by the Chairman
NAB, shall remain in force for a period not exceeding 30
days unless confirmed by the Accountability Court, where
the Reference under this Order shall be sent by NAB.
Provided further that notwithstanding that the Order of
NAB or the Court shall be effective from the time of passing
thereof or proclamation thereof in a Newspaper, widely
circulated and dispatch at the last known address of the
d. If the property ordered to be frozen consists of livestock or is of a
perishable nature, the Chairman NAB, OR the Court may, if it
deems proper and expedient, order the immediate sale thereof and
the proceeds of the sale may be deposited with the Chairman NAB
or the Court, or as either may direct as appropriate.
e. The powers, duties, and liabilities of a Receiver, if any, appointed
under this section shall be the same as those of a Receiver
appointed under Order-XL of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
(Act V of 1908).
f. That the Order of freezing etc. mentioned above in Section 12(a to
e) shall, as the case may be, remain operative until final disposal by
the Accountability Court or the Appellate Forum, notwithstanding
filing of or pendency of an Appeal under this Order.
13. Claim or objection against freezing:-
a. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law for the time being in
force, the Accountability Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to
entertain and adjudicate upon all claims or objections against the
freezing of any property under section 12 above. Such claims or
objections shall be made before the Accountability Court within 14
days from the date of the order freezing such property:
b. The Court may for sufficient cause extend the time for filing such
claims or objections for a period not exceeding additional 14 days.
c. No appeal shall lie against an Order made under Section 12 of this
14. Presumption against accused accepting illegal gratification:-
a. Where in any trial of a scheduled offence punishable under this
Order, it is proved that an accused person has accepted or obtained,
or has agreed to accept or attempted to obtain, for himself or for
any other person any gratification, other than legal remuneration,
or any valuable thing, or any pecuniary advantage from a person or
any agent of a person, for any favour shown or promised to be
shown by the accused, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is
proved, that he accepted or obtained, or agreed to accept or
attempted to obtain, that gratification or that valuable thing or
pecuniary advantage for himself or some other person, as the case
may be, as a motive or a reward such as is specified in section
161 to 163 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), or, as
the case may be, without consideration, or for a consideration
which he believed to be inadequate;
b. Wherein any trial of an offence punishable under section 165A of
the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860) it is proved that any
gratification other than legal remuneration or any valuable thing
has been given, or offered to be given, or attempted to be given, by
any accused person, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is
proved, that he gave, or offered to give, or attempted to give, that
gratification, or that valuable thing, as the case may be, as a motive
or a reward such as is specified in section 161 to 163 of the said
Code, or, as the case may be, without consideration or for a
consideration which he believed to be inadequate.
c. In any trial of an offence punishable under this Order, the fact that
the accused person or any other person on his behalf, is in
possession, for which the accused person cannot satisfactorily
account, of property or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his
known sources of income, or that such person has, at or about the
time of the commission of the offence with which he is charged,
obtained an accretion to his pecuniary resources or property for
which he cannot satisfactorily account, the Court shall presume,
unless the contrary is proved, that the accused person is guilty of
the offence of corruption and/or corrupt practices and his
conviction therefore shall not be invalid by reason only that it is
based solely on such a presumption.
d. Where a person is accused of an offence under section 9(a) (vi) and
(vii), the burden of proof that he used his authority, or issued any
directive, or authorised the issuance of any policy or statutory rule
or order (SRO), or made any grant or allowed any concession, in
the public interest, fairly, justly, and for the advancement of the
purpose of the enactment under which the authority was used,
directive or policy or rule or order was issued or grant was made or
concession was allowed shall lie on him, and in the absence of such
proof the accused shall be guilty of the offence, and his conviction
shall not be invalid by the reason that it is based solely on such
15. Disqualification to contest elections or to hold public office:
a. Where an accused person is convicted for the offence of corruption
or corrupt practices as specified in the Schedule to this Ordinance,
he shall stand disqualified for 21 years for seeking, or from being
elected chosen appointed or nominated as a member or
representative of any public office, or any statutory or local
authority of the Government of Pakistan.
Provided that any accused person who has availed the benefit of
sections 25 of this Ordinance shall also be deemed to have been
convicted for an offence under this Ordinance, and shall stand
disqualified for 21 years as above.
b. Any person convicted of an offence of corruption and/or corrupt
practices as described at serial No. 1 of the Schedule shall not be
allowed to apply for or be granted or allowed any financial
facilities in the form of any loan or advances from any Bank or
Financial Institution in the public sector, for a period of 10 years
from the date of conviction.
16. Trial of Offences:
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time
being in force, all persons accused of a scheduled offence, shall be
prosecuted for such offence by Court established pursuant to this
Ordinance exclusively as constituted under section 5 (g) and the
case shall be heard from day to day and disposed of within 30 days.
b. The court shall sit at such place or places as the Government may,
by order, specify in this behalf.
c. Where more courts than one have been established for an area , the
Chief Justice of the High Court of the Province concerned shall,
keeping in view the seniority and status of the Judges of various
Courts, designate a Judge of any such Court to be an
d. Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, if in respect of
any case relating to an offence triable under this Ordinance, the
Chairman NAB, having regard to the facts and circumstances of
the case may file a reference before any Accountability Court
established anywhere in Pakistan, and such Court shall have the
jurisdiction to try the same.
16A. Transfer of Cases:
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time
being in force, the Chairman NAB may apply to any court of law
or tribunal that any case involving a scheduled offence under this
Ordinance pending before such court or tribunal shall be
transferred to a Court established under this Ordinance, then such
other Court or Tribunal shall transfer the said case to any Court
established under this Ordinance and it shall not be necessary for
the Court to recall any witness or again to record any evidence
that may have been recorded.
b. In respect of any case pending before a Court established under this
Ordinance, the Chairman NAB having regard to the facts and
circumstances of the case and in the interest of justice and for the
protection and safety of witnesses it is necessary that such case is
transferred for trial may direct the Prosecutor General
Accountability to apply for the transfer of the case from any such
Court in one province to a court in another province or from one
Court to a Court in another Province from one Court in a Province
to another Court in the same Province, provided that:-
i. in case the transfer is intended from a Court in a Province to
a court in another Province to the Chief Justice of Pakistan;
ii. in case the transfer is intended from one Court in a Province
to another Court in the same Province to the Chief Justice of
the High Court;
and if the Chief Justice of Pakistan or, as the case may be, the
Chief Justice of High Court considers it expedient in the interest of
justice so to do, he may transfer the case from one Court to another
Court and case so transferred shall be tried under this Ordinance
without recalling any witness whose evidence may have been
17. Provision of the Code to apply:
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time
being in force, unless there is anything inconsistent with the
provisions of this Ordinance, the provisions of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1989), shall mutatis mutandis,
apply to the proceedings under this Order.
b. Subject to sub section (a), the provisions of Chapter XXIIA of the
Code shall apply to trials under this Ordinance.
c. Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (a) or subsection
(b) or in any law for the time being in force, the
Accountability Court may, for reasons to be recorded, dispense
with any provision of the Code and follow such procedure as it
may deem fit in the circumstances of the case.
18. Cognizance of Offences:
a. The Accountability Court shall not take cognizance of any
offence under this Ordinance except on a reference made by or on
behalf of the Chairman National Accountability Bureau.
b. A reference under this Order shall be initiated by the Chairman
National Accountability Bureau on
i. a reference received from the appropriate government; or
ii. receipt of a complaint; or
iii. his own accord.
c. Where the Chairman National Accountability Bureau is of the
opinion that it is or may be necessary and appropriate to initiate
proceedings against any person on receipt of a reference or
complaint or on his own accord, as the case may be, he shall refer
the matter to the Deputy Chairman National Accountability Bureau
or to any other officer for inquiry and investigation.
d. The responsibility for inquiry into and investigation of an offence
alleged to have been committed under this Ordinance shall rest on
the NAB to the exclusion of any other agency or authority, unless
any such agency or authority is required to do so by the Chairman
or/and Deputy Chairman NAB.
e. The Chairman NAB and such members, officers and/or servants of
the NAB shall have and exercise, for the purposes of an inquiry
and/or investigation the power to arrest any person, and all the
powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station under the Code,
and for that purpose may cause the attendance of any person, and
when and if the assistance of any agency, police officer or any
other official or agency, as the case may be, is sought by the NAB
such official or agency shall render such assistance provided that
no person shall be arrested without the permission of the Chairman
or any officer duly authorized by the Chairman NAB.
f. Any Inquiry and Investigation under this Order shall be completed
expeditiously but not exceeding a period of 75 days, or earlier as
soon as may be practical and feasible.
g. The Chairman NAB, shall appraise the material and the evidence
placed before him during the inquiry and the investigation, and if
he decides that it would be proper and just to proceed further, he
shall refer the matter to an Accountability Court.
h. If a complaint is inquired into and investigated by the NAB and it
is concluded that the complaint received was prima facie frivolous
or has been filed with intent to malign or defame any person, the
Chairman or Deputy Chairman NAB or the prescribed law officer,
may refer the matter to the Court, and if the complainant is found
guilty he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which
may extend to one year, or with fine or with both.
19. Power to call for information The Chairman NAB or any authorized
officer may, during the course of an inquiry or investigation in connection
with contravention of any provision of this Ordinance:-
a. call for information from any person for the purpose of satisfying
himself whether there has been any contravention of the provisions
of this Ordinance or any rule or order made thereunder;
b. require any person to produce or deliver any document or thing
useful or relevant to the inquiry or investigation;
c. examine any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of
the case; and
d. require any bank or financial institution, notwithstanding anything
contained in any other law for the time being in force, to provide
any information relating to any person whosoever.
20. Reporting of suspicious financial transactions
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being
in force, it shall be the duty of all banks and financial institutions to
take prompt and immediate notice of all unusual or large
transactions with context to the account, which have no apparently
genuine economic or lawful purpose and upon bonafide
professional judgement of the Bank suspicion that such
transactions could constitute or be related to illegal or illicit
activities, corruption or corrupt practices, the manager or director
of such financial institution shall report all such transactions to the
Chairman NAB forthwith by the quickest possible mode of
communication to be confirmed in writing.
b. Whoever fails to supply the information in accordance with
subsection (a) shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment
which may extend to 5 years, or with fine, or with both.
c. Where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the assets of a
person or any part thereof were acquired through corruption or
corrupt practices, and there was no other likely source of acquiring
such assets or part thereof, it shall be presumed, unless proved to
the contrary by the accused person, that such assets or part
thereof were acquired, generated or obtained through corruption
and corrupt practices.
21. International Cooperation – Request for mutual legal assistance
The Chairman NAB or any officer authorized by the Federal Government
may request a Foreign State to do the following acts in accordance with
the law of such State:-
a. have evidence taken, or documents or other articles produced;
b. obtain and execute search warrants or other lawful instruments
authorizing search for things relevant to investigation or
proceedings in Pakistan believed to be located in that State, and if
found, seize them;
c. freeze assets, by whatever processes are lawfully available in that
State, to the extent to which the assets are believed on reasonable
grounds to be situated in that State;
d. confiscate articles and forfeit assets to the extent to which the
articles or assets, as the case may be, are believed to be located in
e. transfer to Pakistan any such evidence, documents, things, articles,
assets or proceeds realized from the disposal of such articles or
f. transfer in custody to Pakistan a person detained in the foreign
State who consents to assist Pakistan in the relevant investigation
a. The Chairman NAB may inquire into and investigate any suspected
offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve
serious offences as given in the Schedule to this Ordinance, and has
been referred to him, or of his own accord.
b. The Chairman NAB may, if he thinks fit, conduct any such
investigation in conjunction with any other agency or any other
person which/who is, in the opinion of the Chairman NAB, a
proper Agency or person to be concerned in it.
23. Transfer of property void
(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time
being in force after the Chairman NAB has initiated investigation
into the offences under this Ordinance, alleged to have been
committed by an accused person, such person or any relative or
associate of such person or any other person on his behalf, shall not
transfer by any means whatsoever, create a charge on any movable
or immovable property owned by him or in his possession, while
the inquiry, investigation or proceedings are pending before the
NAB or the Accountability Court; and any transfer of any right,
title or interest or creation of a charge on such property shall be
(b) Any person who transfers, or creates a charge on property in
contravention of subsection (a) shall be punishable with rigorous
imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and shall
also be liable to fine not exceeding the value of the property
24. a. The Chairman NAB shall have the power, at any stage of the
investigation under this Ordinance, to direct that the accused, if not
already arrested, shall be arrested.
b. If the Chairman, NAB decides to refer the case to a Court, such
reference shall contain the substance of the offence/offences
alleged to have been committed by the accused and a copy of
such reference shall be forwarded to the Registrar of the Court to
which the case has been sent to try the accused, and another copy
shall be delivered to the accused.
c. The provisions of sub-section (a) shall also apply to cases, which
have already been referred to the Court.
d. Notwithstanding anything contained in the code, where the holder
of the public office or any other person accused of an offence is
arrested by NAB under this Ordinance, NAB shall, as soon as may
be, inform him of the grounds and substance on the basis of which
he has been arrested and produce him before the court established
under this Ordinance within a period of twenty four hours of arrest
excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of
arrest to the court and such person shall, having regard to the facts
and circumstances of the case, be liable to be detained in the
custody of NAB for the purpose of inquiry and investigation for a
period not exceeding ninety days provided that no accused arrested
under this Ordinance shall be released without the written order of
the Chairman NAB or the order of the Court.
e. All persons presently in custody shall immediately upon coming
into force of this sub-section, unless previously produced before an
Accountability Court, be produced before such court as provided
in sub-section (d) and the Order authorizing retention of custody by
NAB shall be deemed to relate to the date of arrest.
f. The Chairman, NAB may declare and notify any place as a police
station or a sub-jail at his discretion.
25. Voluntary Return (Plea Bargaining): Where at any time whether before
or after the commencement of trial the holder of a public office or any
other person accused of any offence under this Ordinance, returns to the
NAB the assets or gains acquired through corruption or corrupt practices;
(i) if the trial has not commenced, the Chairman NAB may release the
(ii) if the trial has commenced, the Court may, with the consent of the
Chairman, release the accused.
(2) The amount deposited by the accused with the NAB shall be
transferred to the Federal Government or, as the case may be, a
Provincial Government or the concerned bank or financial
institution, etc., within one month from the date of such deposit.
25A. Payment of Loans, etc:
a. Where a person has been arrested or is in the custody of NAB on
the charge that he is guilty of committing the offence of wilful
default on account of non-payment of dues to a bank or financial
institution or cooperative society, he may apply to the Chairman
NAB for the reconciliation of his liability through Conciliation
Committee and the Chairman NAB may refer the matter to a
b. The Conciliation Committee shall consist of a nominee of NAB,
who shall be the Chairman of the Commission, a nominee of the
Prosecutor General NAB, an officer of the Banking Cell of NAB
nominated by the Chairman NAB, a nominee of the Governor of
the State Bank of Pakistan being a senior officer of the State Bank
well qualified in the profession of banking, a Chartered Accountant
appointed by the State Bank of Pakistan, a Chartered Accountant
appointed by the accused who will represent him and a Chartered
Accountant appointed by the lender.
Explanation:- Where the lender is a consortium or group of banks or
financial institutions, the lender means the lead bank or financial
institution.c. The Conciliation Committee after examining the record and
accounts of the bank and the written evidence produced by the
accused through his Chartered Accountant, if any, shall determine
the amount outstanding against the accused calculated in
accordance with law, circulars, rules and regulations of the State
Bank of Pakistan and the manner and schedule of repayment. The
accused, if he so desires, shall be heard at the commencement and
before the conclusion of proceedings provided that the Chartered
Accountant representing the accused shall have access to him for
obtaining instructions during the proceedings of the Conciliation
d. The Conciliation Committee shall conclude the reference within
thirty days and its recommendations shall be recorded by its
Chairman and shall contain the views of all members of the
Committee. The recommendations of the Conciliation Committee
shall be submitted to the Chairman NAB.
e. The Chairman NAB shall consider the recommendations submitted
to him under sub-section (d). The Chairman NAB may accept the
recommendations or may, for reasons to be recorded, pass such
appropriate order including rejecting or modifying the same as he
may deem fit.
f. Where the accused undertakes to repay the amount as determined
by the Conciliation Committee or the Chairman NAB, as the case
may be, the Chairman NAB may release the accused for the
purpose of this Ordinance.
g. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Ordinance or any other
law for the time being in force, if the Chairman NAB is satisfied
that any agreement entered into between a bank or a financial
institution, a cooperative society and a lender is vitiated by the
provisions of section 23 or any other provision of the Contract Act,
1872 (IX of 1872), or any other law or the same is collusive or is
against public interest, he may refuse to take such agreement into
consideration for the purposes of Conciliation Committee or the
conclusion drawn by them.
h. In the event of failure either of the Conciliation Committee to
conclude the reference within thirty days of the commencement of
the conciliation proceedings or the failure of the accused to accept
and implement the decision of the Chairman NAB regarding the
payment and matters relating thereto, the case shall be proceeded
with and referred to the Accountability Court.
26. Tender of pardon to accomplice/plea-bargaining:
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, at any stage of
investigation or inquiry, the Chairman may, with a view to
obtaining the evidence of any person supposed to have been
directly or indirectly concerned in or privy to any offence, tender a
full or conditional pardon to such a person on condition of his
making a full and true disclosure of the whole of the circumstances
within his knowledge relating to the said offence including the
names of the persons involved therein whether as principals or
abettors or otherwise.
b. Every person accepting a tender of pardon under sub-section (a)
shall be examined as a witness in the subsequent trial.
c. Subject to sub-section (d), the person to whom pardon has been
granted under this section shall not –
i. in the case of a full pardon be tried for the offence in respect
of which the pardon was granted; and
ii. in the case of a conditional pardon be awarded a punishment
or penalty higher or other than that specified in the grant of
pardon notwithstanding the punishment or penalty
authorized by law.
d. Where the Chairman NAB certifies that in his opinion, any person
who has accepted such tender has, either by willfully concealing
anything essential or by giving false evidence through willful or
reckless mis-statement, not complied with the condition on which
the tender was made, such a person may be tried for the offence in
respect of which the pardon was so tendered, or for any other
offence of which he appears to have been guilty in connection with
the said matter including the offence of giving false evidence,
which he knows or ought to know is false.
e. Any statement made before the Chairman NAB or the Court by a
person who has accepted a tender of pardon may be given in
evidence against him at such trial.
27. Power to seek Assistance: The Chairman NAB shall have the power to
seek full and complete assistance and call for all or any documents and
information relevant to or in connection with any matter or proceeding
pending before the NAB, from any Department of the Federal
Government, Provincial Government, Local Authority, Bank, Financial
Institution, person or any authority and institution or department in the
public sector or the private sector, as he may deem it fit and proper to
demand or require, provided that in any case in which a question of
secrecy is involved or is raised at any time, the Chairman’s decision shall
28. Appointment of officers and staff in the National Accountability
a. The NAB may appoint such officers and staff as it may consider
necessary for efficient performance of its functions and exercise of
its powers under this Ordinance.
b. The officers and members of staff shall be appointed by the
Chairman NAB or by a person authorized by the Chairman NAB.
c. The officers and members of staff shall be entitled to such salary,
allowances and other terms and conditions of services as the
Chairman NAB may, with the approval of the Chief Executive,
d. Subject to sub-section (e) the provisions of the Civil Servants Act,
1973(LXXI of 1973), shall not apply to the persons appointed in
e. Nothing contained in sub-section (d) shall apply to a person who is
a civil servant within the meaning of the law relating to
appointments as civil servant of the Federation or a Province and is
deputed to or posted in NAB.
29. Accused to be competent witness:- any person charged with an offence
punishable under this Act shall be a competent witness for the defence
and may give evidence on oath in disproof of the charges made against
Provided that the accused shall not be compelled to be a witness against
Provided further that, where an accused person appears as a witness of his
own choice and refuses to answer any question, the Court may draw such
adverse inference from such refusal as it may think proper.
30. False evidence etc.:-
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in the preceding provisions or
any other law already in force, on pronouncement of judgement,
the Accountability Court shall have the jurisdiction and power to
take cognizance of an offence committed in the course of the
investigation or trial of a case by any officer, any witness,
including an expert, who has tendered false evidence in the case,
whether he deposed in court or not, or any other person, under
sections 176 to 182 of Chapter X, or sections 191 to 204, or 211 to
223, or 225-A of Chapter XI, of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV
of 1860), or under any other law relating to false evidence and
offences against public justice, and to summarily try him and
award punishment provided for the offence under the law.
b. For the purpose of trial under sub-section (a), the Court may, as
nearly as may be, follow the procedure specified in Chapter XXII
of the Code.
c. The proceeding under sub-section (a) may be initiated by the Court
on its own accord at any time after the decision of the case or, in
the event that there is an appeal, after the decision thereof, or on an
application made by the Prosecutor or the person accused of an
offence tried by the Court, within thirty days.
31. Prohibition to hamper investigation
a. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time
being in force, if any person concerned with the inquiry and
investigation and prosecution of a case consciously and
deliberately and with malice aforethought compromises, hampers,
misleads, jeopardizes or defeats an investigation of a case under
process before NAB or any concerned agency or authority or any
Court or an Accountability Court, he shall be deemed to have
committed the scheduled offence of corrupt practice and/or
b. No person will be proceeded with under this section except with
the sanction of a Committee composing the Chairman NAB,
Deputy Chairman NAB and the Prosecutor General Accountability.
31A. Absconding to avoid service of warrants:- Whoever absconds in order
to avoid being served with any process issued by any Court or any other
authority or officer under this Ordinance or in any manner prevents,
avoids or evades the service on himself of such process or conceals
himself to screen himself from the proceedings or punishment under this
Ordinance shall be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment
which may extend to three years notwithstanding the provisions of
section 87 and 88 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, or any other law
for the time being in force.
31B. Withdrawal from prosecution:- Where at any stage of the proceedings,
the Chairman NAB is of the opinion that ends of justice so require he
may direct the Prosecutor General Accountability to withdraw from
prosecution of any person under this Ordinance and upon such
withdrawal the accused shall be released if not required in any other case
under this Ordinance.
31C. No Court established under this Ordinance shall take cognizance of an
offence against an officer or an employee of a bank or financial
institution for writing off, waving, restructuring or refinancing any
financial facility, interest or markup without prior approval of the State
Bank of Pakistan.
a. Any person convicted or the Prosecutor General Accountability, if
so directed by NAB aggrieved by the Final Judgement and Order
of the Court under this Ordinance may, within ten days of the final
Judgement and Order of the Accountability Court prefer an Appeal
to the High Court of the Province where the Court is situated.
b. All Appeals against the final Judgement filed before the High
Court will be heard by a Bench of not less than two judges
constituted by the Chief Justice of the High Court and shall be
finally disposed off within thirty days of the filing of the Appeal.
c. Notwithstanding any other law for the time being in force or this
Ordinance, no appeal against any interlocutory order of the Court
during the proceedings pending before it under this Order, shall lie
and an appeal shall lie only against the Final Judgement of the
d. No stay of proceedings before the Court shall be granted by any
Court on any ground whatsoever, nor proceedings thereof be
suspended or stayed by any Court on any ground whatsoever.
33. Transfer of pending proceedings: Any and all proceedings pending
before a court under the Ehtesab Act, 1997 (IX of 1997), shall stand
transferred to an Accountability Court as soon as it is constituted under
this Ordinance within the same Province, and it shall not be necessary to
recall any witness or again to record any evidence that may have been
34. The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in consultation with the
Chief Justice of Pakistan may make Rules for carrying out the purposes
of this Ordinance and the said Rules, shall on promulgation be a part of
a. The Ehtesab Act 1997 (Act IX of 1997) shall stand repealed from
the date of promulgation of this Ordinance, provided that
notwithstanding the Repeal of the said Act, any proceedings
pending under Ordinance CXI of 1996, Ordinance No. XX of
1997 and the Ehtesab Act, 1997 before any Court established under
the said Act of 1997 and/or any of the aforesaid Ordinances
amending the same, shall, continue under this Ordinance as
transferred under sub-section (b) of section 33 to an
b. Any case or proceeding pending under the aforesaid Act of 1997
immediately before the commencement of this Ordinance and
transferred to any court established under this Ordinance shall be
proceeded with and all subsequent proceedings shall be completed
in accordance with, and under the provisions of, this Ordinance”.
No suit, prosecution, or any other proceedings shall lie against the
Federal Government, Provincial Government, Chairman NAB, or any
other member of the NAB or any person exercising any power or
performing any function under this Ordinance or the Rules made
hereunder for any act or thing which has been done in good faith or
intended to be done under this Ordinance or the Rules thereof.
37. Removal of Difficulties Order.
The President may for the purpose of removing any difficulties in the
enforcement of this Ordinance may make modifications, additions or
omissions as may be deemed necessary or expedient for the interest of the
SCHEDULE OF OFFENCES
Corruption and Corrupt Practices.
a. Wilful default in repayment of
outstanding dues to a Bank or a
Financial Institution a
cooperative society, a
Government department or an
authority established or
controlled by the Government
shall be an offence or deemed
to be an offence of corruption
and / or corrupt practices.
Any person who aids, abets or through
any willful act or omission is
instrumental in the commission of the
offence specified at Serial 1(a) above
of this Schedule or with wrongful
intent for illegal gratification by misuse
of power, authority, influence,
nepotism, favoritism writes off, waives,
restructures or refinances illegally,
improperly or without sufficient
justification the principal amount of
loan on any financial facility, interest
or mark-up on any loan or financial
facility provided to any person by any
bank or financial institution, a
cooperative society, a Government
department or an authority established
or controlled by the Government shall
have committed or be deemed to have
committed the offence of corruption
and/or corrupt practices.
14 years or
14 years or
less plus fine
14 years or
less plus fine
Criminal conspiracy/attempt to commit
any scheduled offence
10 years or
To be read
Knowingly furnishes false information
to any member of the National
Accountability Bureau or to anyagency investigating any alleged
10 years or
To be read
Refuses to answer questions, or to
provide information to the National
Accountability Bureau or any other
agency when required to do so.
5 years or
To be read
180- 182 PPC
Giving or fabricating false evidence
during inquiry, investigation of an
offence by the National Accountability
Bureau or any agency:
? When given by a complainant/
? When given by any inquiry
officer, investigator of the
Bureau or concerned agency.
5 years or
10 years or
To be read
193, 195, 197,
198, 199, 200,
201, 202, 203,
Offence under section 409 PPC
14 years or
Misuse of authority / power in
committing any offence above, by any
person holding a public office
including any offence under sections
161 to 165A of the Pakistan Penal
14 years or
14 years or
Acquisition, retention and possession
of assets derived from corrupt practices
by corrupt or/and illegal means in
abuse of power and/or authority.
14 years or
with fine and
Section 31A of this Ordinance
MUHAMMAD RAFIQ TARAR
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan