PESHAWAR Jan 9 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 09th Jan, 2017 ) : Senior lawyers and politicians of Khyber Pakthunkhwa here Monday hailed the decision of Federal Government to disqualify public office holders and the government servants for entire life who benefit from NAB's laws of voluntary return and plea bargain. Constitutional expert and PMLN Lawyers Wing President KP Alamzab Khan advocate told APP on Monday that the new National Accountability (Amended) Ordinance 2017 recently promulgated by President Mamnoon Hussain was the need of the hour following widespread criticism on the plea bargain and voluntary return laws of the NAB in the country.
He said there had been specific observations for long time about Section 25-A (Voluntary return and plea bargain laws of NAB) from judiciary, media, civil society and even the Supreme Court had asked the Attorney General of Pakistan about the government stance on the issue. Under this new ordinance, he said, any person or office holder found involved and convicted in corrupt practices would be banned for lifetime from holding any public or government office, saying it was a major punishment that would help root out corruption.
He said new amendment in the existing laws would also seek prior approval of court before any deal of voluntary return or plea bargain with NAB, saying it would ensure fairness and transparency. The noted lawyer said earlier, a person striking plea bargain was disqualified for holding public or government office for ten years but this new law would impose lifetime ban on corrupt elements. "A person or Govt official would think 100 times now before accepting an illegal money following this new law and if corruption cases were proved against him would face life time ban besides disqualification from service," he explained.
Former Secretary Peshawar High Court Bar Association, Astagifarullah Khan advocate said the new law would help eliminate corruption and ensure transparency and good governance in the country. In the past, he said, the accused involved in corruption took an easy advantage of plea bargain and voluntary return NAB's laws and become set free. This loopholes in the earlier laws encourage others to accept illegal monetary benefits besides adversely affected service delivery and created disparity among people.
Sardar Aurangzain Nolta, PMLN Parliamentary Leader in KP Assembly told APP that the new law was the need of the hour that would eliminate corruption and ensure transparency based on justice. He said the government was very sincere in eliminating corruption and promulgated the ordinance for immediate and effective action against corrupt elements. Nalota said corruption was rampant in our society and labelled as mother of all ills. "Corruption gives birth to multifarious problems, including nepotism and favoritism and negates meritocracy, transparency and accountability," he remarked.
The PMLN lawmaker said an effective accountability mechanism was quintessential for economic growth, investment and stability of social order. Nalota said the new proposed law was very much strict even as compared to other countries in the region that will help root out the menace of corruption from the society. On the other hand, he said PTI government has made several amendments in its own Ehtasb Commission that had put serious question mark on the PTI's accountability system.