Sindh govt seeks details of employees securing plea bargain deal with NAB

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The Sindh government on Wednesday sought details of the provincial officials and employees who have secured a plea bargain deal with the National Accountability Authority (NAB) to escape from proceedings in corruption cases. According to details, the provincial government has issued a form to separate departments, seeking details of the officials who secured a plea bargain deal with the NAB. The departments have been directed to fill the form and return it within two days.The directives in this regard have also been issued to chairman planning and development, senior member board of revenue, additional chief secretary, commissioners, and administrative secretaries. Inspector-General of Police (IG) Sindh has also been sent a similar form to get details on officials in the police department regarding their plea bargain deals. The directives noted that the details had to be submitted to the Sindh High Court (SHC) by December 21. Meanwhile, sources privy to the details said that the officials who have secured plea bargain deals from the NAB were mostly from local bodies, food, education, excise, and other departments. The officials included district accounts officers, senior auditors, food inspectors, and others, they said. It is pertinent to mention here that besides the bureaucracy, a report on October 08 read that Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and over 12 provincial cabinet members are on the radar of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over corruption charges in separate cases. According to a report, some of the cabinet members have been issued the summons in embezzlement cases while the record of income and assets of others have been summoned from concerned institutions and departments. The Sindh High Court last Thursday directed the provincial chief secretary to file complete details of the cases of government servants who entered into a plea bargain and voluntary return scheme with the National Accountability Bureau in graft cases by Dec 21. The two-judge bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar also issued notices to the NAB chairman, Sindh chief secretary and other respondents as well as the top federal and provincial law officers on a petition of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Kanwar Naveed Jameel against reappointments and promotions of officials in different departments of Sindh after entering into a plea bargain and voluntary return scheme with NAB. The petitioner maintained that such officials could not hold any public office either in the federal or provincial government or in any state-owned organisation.