Retired Justice Javed Iqbal, chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), on Wednesday urged people to understand the difference between NAB custody and judicial custody, saying the caretaker was not responsible for the deaths in the jail.
Iqbal asked people to present evidence that 17 people had died in NAB custody.
He expressed these views after distributing checks worth Rs. 760 million among 3,000 victims of Model Housing Enclave and Ferozepur Housing Society.
‘Record recovery in two years’
Appreciating the performance of NAB Lahore, Iqbal said that the distribution of lakhs of rupees among the affected people, which were recovered from the accused in a short span of two years, was commendable.
“When the date of NAB will be recorded, today will be remembered as Rs 2.25 billion was collected in just 24 months.”
He said that the happiness on the faces of the victims proved that the NAB officials were serving the nation to repay the money earned from their energies. He further said that an amount of Rs. 1.32 billion has also been returned to the victims. Other housing society projects in the last two years.
NAB knows traders are the backbone of economy
Iqbal said the authority was aware of the importance of the business community and would never take steps to violate their rights.
He said he has always “protected the interests of traders” and the NAB knows that traders are the backbone of any economy. “Why would we take a step that violates the rights of traders?”
Iqbal added that the stock exchange would not show a positive trend as it has, if the NAB was creating problems for the business community.
‘NAB only works on options’
The NAB chairman said the bureau was doing its best to ensure full implementation of the rule of law.
Iqbal responded to criticism of the authority by allegedly pressuring the people to agree to a plea. “It is not the case that the chairman or the DG is abusing his authority. This law has been handed over to the NAB and is being traced accordingly,” he said.
He said those who only criticize the NAB would know that criticism should have “some basis”.
The bureau chairman said that some elements were trying to spread propaganda against the NAB but the bureau would continue to work “purely on merit”.
Iqbal said that criticism for the sake of criticism is not justified and there should always be constructive criticism.
’90-day remand hardly won ‘
The NAB chairman said that the watchdog has to go through the process of accountability. Similarly, after the arrest of an accused, he is produced in the court where remand is obtained on the basis of evidence.
He said a 14-day remand was more than enough for robbery or murder.
“But because of the white collar crime, which starts in Lahore, then it is transferred to Islamabad and then to the Gulf states and then it turns out that these firms are bought in the United States or some other countries, here. Until we continue to travel, in these 14 days, the investigation will never be complete.
He said that the court does not issue remand for 90 days in one day. It is always awarded after “a lot of effort, hard work, investigation and persuasion”.
He said that NAB has taken special measures to eradicate corruption without any discrimination and such measures will continue.
Earlier, during his visit to NAB Lahore, he was briefed by the Joint Investigation Team led by DG NAB Lahore on mega corruption cases.