Text of National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019

Text of National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A presidential ordinance has been promulgated to restrict National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take action against matters of tax evasion and an act of government officials done in good faith.

Following is the text of the amended ordinance

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BILL

     further to amend the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999

     WHEREAS it is expedient further to amend the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (No. XVIII of 1999), for the purposes hereinafter appearing.

It is hereby enacted as follows: –

  1. Short title and commencement – This Act may be called the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.

(2)  It shall come into force at once.

  1. Amendment of section 4, Ordinance XVIII 1999 – In the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (No.XVIII of 1999), the current section 4 shall be substituted with the following provisions namely: –

“4.  Application

(1) This Ordinance extends to the whole of Pakistan.

(2)  Notwithstanding anything contained in this Ordinance, except for the persons, transactions and matters specified in sub-Section (3) of this Section, the provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to all persons, including those persons who are or have been in the service of Pakistan, wherever they may be.

(3)  The persons, transactions and matters to which the provisions of this Ordinance shall not apply will be as follows: –

  • transactions and matters pertaining to Federal or Provincial taxation, duties, levies or imposts, by whatever name called;

Explanation

  • All pending inquiries and investigations which relate to matters pertaining to this clause (a) sub-Section (3) of Section 4 shall stand transferred to the respective authorities or departments which administer the relevant laws of taxation, levies or imposts in question by whatever name called;
  • All pending trials which relate to matters pertaining to this clause (a) sub-Section (3) of Section 4 shall stand transferred from the relevant Accountability Courts to the criminal Courts which deal with offences, if any, under the respective laws pertaining to taxations, levies or imposts in question by whatever name called;

(b)  any private person or matter or transaction in relation to such private person, unless such private persons is alleged to: –

  • have given or offered to give or attempted to give any gratification, other than legal remuneration, or valuable thing or pecuniary advantage to a public officer holder in terms of clauses (i), (ii) and (iv) of Section 9(a) and there is corroborative evidence that the public office holder has materially benefitted by gaining any monetary benefit or asset disproportionate to his known sources of income or which cannot be reasonably accounted, from such private person; or
  • is directly or indirectly connected with the holder of public office as his dependent or benamidar;

Explanation

  • However, this clause (b) of sub-Section (3) of Section 4 shall not apply in case of an offence falling under clauses (ix), (x) and (xi) of Section 9(a) and clause (xii) of Section 9(a) to the extent that it applies to clauses (ix), (x) and (xi) of Section 9(a).

(c)  unless a holder of public office has materially benefitted by gaining any monetary benefit or asset disproportionate to his known sources of income or which cannot be reasonably accounted for by the holder of public and there is evidence to corroborate such material benefit, NAB shall not take cognizance of any offence under this Ordinance involving a procedural lapse including any offence specified in clause (vi) of Section 9(a);

(d)  unless a holder of public office has materially benefitted by gaining any monetary benefit or asset disproportionate to his known sources of income or which cannot be reasonably accounted for, and there is evidence to corroborate such material benefit, NAB shall not take cognizance of any offence involving the rendition of an incorrect act, decision, advice, opinion or report;

(e)  the valuation of immovable properties, for the purposes of assessing as to whether a holder of public office has assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, shall be reckoned either according to the actual price shown on the relevant title documents or the applicable rate prescribed by the District Collector or the Federal Board of Revenue, which is higher. No evidence contrary to the later shall be admissible.

  1. Amendment of Section 5, Ordinance XVIII 1999 – In the current Section 5 “Definitions” of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (No.XVIII of 1999), after the definition of “PERSON” in clause (o) the following heading will be added namely: –

PRIVATE PERSON” shall mean any person other than the holder of public office.”

  1. In the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (No. XVIII of 1999), after clause (vi) of sub-section (a) of Section 9, Ordinance XVIII of 1999 the following proviso shall be added, namely: –

Provided that an act done in good faith and in discharge of duties and performance of official function shall not, unless there is corroborative evidence of accumulation by the public office holder of any monetary benefit or asset which is disproportionate to the known sources of income or which cannot be reasonably accounted for, constitute an offence under this clause.

  1. In the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (No. XVIII of 1999), after clause (vii) of sub-section (a) of Section 9, Ordinance XVIII of 1999 the following proviso shall be added, namely: –

Provided that an act done in good faith and in discharge of duties and performance of official function shall not, unless there is corroborative evidence of accumulation by the public office holder of any monetary benefit or asset which is disproportionate to the known sources of income or which cannot be reasonably accounted for, constitute an offence under this clause.

PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN

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