Voluntary return of illegal money to include capital gain, bank profit rate under NAB Ordinance


ISLAMABAD: A person intended to avail voluntary return the illegal gain made during holding public office, is required to return along with capital gain and profit at the bank rate from the date of its illegal receipt.
A presidential order issued on Saturday which called the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 under which an accused person is convicted of an offence he shall forthwith cease to public office, if any, held by him and further he shall stand disqualified from being a holder of public office.
The Ordinance will be laid in the Senate session starting on Monday January 09, 2017.
Prior to the promulgation of the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, NAO contains provisions for voluntary return and plea bargain.
The provision for voluntary return did not entail disqualification of a holder of public office or dismissal of a government servant who enters into voluntary return arrangements.
Nor did it require approval of the Accountability Court. The result was that a corrupt person who voluntarily returned the proceeds of corruption could continue to be a holder of public office or a government servant.
The provision for plea bargain required approval of the Court but disqualification to hold a public office was for a period of ten years only.
Accordingly, the Laws Review Committee has proposed certain amendments, the salient features of which are as follows:
(i) provisions of voluntary return and plea bargain have been merged.
(ii) voluntary return arrangement will now be subject to approval of the Court, and will not be at the discretion of Chairman, NAB.
(iii) person entering into such arrangement shall be deemed to be convicted and;
(a) stand disqualified from being a holder of public office; and
(b) in government service shall stand dismissed without any pecuniary benefits and shall not thereafter be eligible to hold public office.
(iv) person convicted by the Court for corruption and corrupt practices shall cease to hold public office and shall stand disqualified from being a holder of public office in future.
Upon promulgation of the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, the aforementioned amendments will become operative with immediate effect.
Furthermore, in accordance with unanimous motions passed by the National Assembly and Senate, the Speaker National Assembly in consultation with the Chairman, Senate and Leaders of the Parliamentary Parties has constituted a 20-member Parliamentary Committee comprising 13-MNAs and 07-Senators “to revisit the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and recommend necessary amendments therein”. The Committee is likely to commence its work in the week beginning January 09, 2017.

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