Govt ‘imposes’ plea bargain decision on MPs’ committee

* Even NA speaker not happy since he had set up committee on NAB laws a day before promulgation of ordinance

Govt ‘imposes’ plea bargain  decision on MPs’ committee

ISLAMABAD: The government has imposed its decision regarding plea bargain on the 20-member parliamentary committee on NAB Ordinance.

Opposition has decided to protest against this move on Tuesday in the meeting of parliamentary party leaders.

Sources told Daily Times that Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq was not happy with the government's decision because he set up the parliamentary committee a day before the promulgation of ordinance by the president.

The terms of reference of the parliamentary committee were clear that the committee would reconsider the NAB Ordinance 1999 and would suggest the amendments thereof.

The committee was given mandate to look into the clauses of plea bargain and voluntarily return as well and the speaker summoned its first meeting on January 11, sources said.

Sources said further that the federal government bypassed the parliamentary committee and imposed its decision even the committee was not functional formally and it will have to elect its chairman yet.

NAB high-ups, including its chairman, were not happy with the government's move. They considered it a move to clip the wings of NAB. Some officials are considering to challenge the new ordinance in the court and in this regard an application may be filed in the court soon, sources disclosed.

Sources said that opposition senators would raise this matter in the Senate session on Monday (today) as the government would table the amendment ordinance in the Upper House.

President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday night passed the ordinance to disbar for life public office holders and government servants who seek to benefit from the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) plea bargain and voluntary return laws. Earlier, public servants striking plea bargains were disqualified for 10 years, but this law would ensure lifetime ban on those corrupt elements. The ordinance will be enforced from Sunday, and presented to the Senate and parliament for their review on Monday (today).