National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2019 – An Analysis

The following review analyzes the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2019, which was promulgated on 28th December, 2019 through a Presidential Order under Article 89 of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. As of May 2020, this Ordinance stands expired due to a lack of approval from the Parliament within 120 days. Nevertheless, this review investigates the origins of the modifications of certain provisions proposed by the Amendment, its trajectory and the possible challenges the promulgation and the subsequent expiration have posed. 


The formation of nation-states and democratic systems calls for robust anti-corruption laws and accountability of the people’s elected representatives. The United Nations, for this purpose, passed Resolution 58/4 of the General Assembly and adopted the Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in December 2005.[1] Signatories of the Convention are expected to lend cooperation in criminal matters – emphasis is placed on states assisting each other in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases in both administrative and civil matters. One of the aims of this Convention is to reduce various types of corruption, including money laundering, transnational corrupt practices and embezzlement.[2] Pakistan is not only a signatory to the Convention[3] but has also ratified the Convention through the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, which aims to curb corruption in the country at grassroots level. Despite these measures, corruption is still common in Pakistan. The problem seems to have become more complicated due to political rivalries and the internalization of corrupt political practices within the country. According to Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index (on which ‘zero’ indicates highly corrupt and a ‘100’ indicates very clean), Pakistan is ranked at 117 out of 180 corrupt countries, scoring 33 points out of 100.[4] The score did improve by one point in 2018, though the ranking position remained the same i.e. 117 out of 180.[5] In 2019, however, Pakistan again downgraded to 120/180 with a total of 32 points.[6]

Against this backdrop, the latest amendment to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 and its subsequent expiration has yet again put a question mark on the current government’s rhetoric on accountability. This review of the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2019 attempts to explore three ideas:

  1. Firstly, it looks at whether or not the 2019 Amendment actually changed the law or just crystallized the jurisprudence that had already been developed through case-law.
  2. Secondly, it explores whether the Amendment followed the same trajectory as the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) 2007, i.e. whether it aimed to create a classification while posing the standards of accountability under NAO 1999, between those who held public offices and those who did not, as had been the case under NRO 2007.
  3. Lastly, the review concludes by discussing the challenges which the promulgation and expiration of the Amendment has presented.

Background of Accountability Laws in Pakistan

In 1996, the Ehtesab Ordinance was promulgated by the President at the time, Farooq Ahmed Leghari. The Ehtesab Ordinance gave an extensive meaning to “corruption”, and included a myriad of activities within the ambit of the term,[7] including bribery, fraud, misappropriation, unjust enrichment and possession of resources beyond one’s reasonable means of income, etc. Under this law, any holder of public office (including government servants of Grade 20 or above, the President, Governors, Prime Minister and the Attorney General among many others) could be held accountable through the judicial process if a complaint had been filed against them by any member of the general public.[8] Thus, the law allowed for scrutiny of the actions of public officials.

The Ehtesab Ordinance was later repealed and replaced by the Ehtesab Act 1997.[9] The primary purpose of the legislation remained the same and it only introduced two modifications:

  • Firstly, it extended the scope of the accountability law to include former government servants who had served as officers at Grade 17 or above.
  • Secondly, ehtesab cells were set up for initiating inquiries and investigating matters pertaining to corruption. Ehtesab cells uncovered mass corruption by former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Zardari, with the most famous case being the one concerning the Swiss bank accounts, for which proceedings took place even in Switzerland.

The Ehtesab Act 1997 was finally replaced by the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999. NAO 1999 was passed by the serving General and President at the time, Pervez Musharraf. This law followed its preceding legislation in a many ways.[10] It set up the National Accountability Bureau which was similar to ehtesab cells,[11] followed the same definition for corruption and corrupt practices,[12] and offered immunity from prosecution for any member of the armed forces of Pakistan, etc.[13] However, accountability law under the Musharraf rule was flawed as it was used only to provide selective accountability. Only politicians from certain political parties were prosecuted, who managed to escape liability by switching political alliances, mainly in favour of Pakistan Muslim League (Q).[14]

National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999

NAO 1999 had been promulgated to curb corruption from within the country. The legislation, just as its predecessors, aimed to mitigate corrupt practices at a grassroots level by establishing a National Accountability Bureau.

The NAO was originally meant to extend to every citizen of Pakistan. This has been outlined in section 4 of NAO 1999, which provides that the Act “shall apply to all persons in Pakistan, [all citizens of Pakistan] and persons who are or have been in the service of Pakistan wherever they may be, including areas which are part of Federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.”[15] Thus, NAO 1999 did not make any classifications as to its subjects, i.e. with respect to certain persons and transactions. Moreover, before the promulgation of the Amendment, directors, shareholders, chairpersons, etc. of a body corporate were liable in the case of misappropriation of funds and syphoning of money through various companies. This has been evidenced by a recent judgment of the Supreme Court in National Accountability Bureau v Murad Arshad.[16] In this case, the documents and cheques of a substantial amount bore the respondent’s signatures. The cheques had been deposited in the account of companies of which the respondent was one of the shareholders. It was also alleged that the respondent had transferred plots to the Bank of Punjab to offset liability of another company, of which he was one of the beneficiaries. The court used the definition of ‘person’ as given under section 5 (o) of NAO 1999 and ruled that it gave NAB the power to pierce the veil of incorporation and nail down the real persons under whose dictate and command the affairs of the errant corporate entity had been conducted, and to also find the actual and real actors who were the beneficiaries of crimes committed under the NAO 1999.[17] The court held that,

“…above provisions (section 5) sufficiently demonstrate that all those persons who are found to be handling the affairs of a corporate and or legal entity in whatever legal attire or façade used to carry out any commercial and or other activity and commit any wrong and or act of omission and or commission which come within the mischief of any clause of section 9 and punishable under section 10 read with schedule thereto gives sufficient power to NAB authorities to lift the veil of incorporation and trace out the real actors and mastermind behind such facade.”[18]

However, after the introduction of the new Amendment to the NAO 1999 on 28th December, 2019, much seemed to have changed. According to section 4(2) of the Amendment, an exemption had been provided to certain transactions and persons from the applicability of the NAO 1999. For instance, the jurisdiction of NAB to entertain cases regarding taxes, imposts and levies had also been curtailed, with such cases to be decided by the relevant authorities and criminal courts directly dealing with such offences.[19] Additionally, in order to hold any person (under the definition given in section 5(o) of NAO 1999) liable, two elements needed to be present:

  • breach of trust or cheating,
  • by a public official.[20]

It also barred NAB from taking action against public officials in case of departmental deficiencies or procedural lapses.[21]

The Amendment created more stringent criteria to prosecute public officials for corruption or corrupt practices. A higher standard of proof was introduced for public officials through a two-pronged test. According to the test, in order to hold a public official liable for an offence under the NAO 1999, it had to be shown that the public official had ‘materially benefited’ by gaining any asset or monetary benefit (where such benefit could not be reasonably accounted for) through clear and corroborative proof.[22] Such strict criteria only existed for public officials, creating a clear distinction between them and members of the general public. Such a measure could either save public officials from unnecessary accusations for indulging in corrupt practices, or provide them with more leeway to escape any allegations of corruption.

Coming to section 9(a)(vi) of the NAO 1999, an act had previously been construed to lie within the ambit of corruption or corrupt practice if the person “misuses his authority so as to gain any benefit or favour for himself or any other person, or [renders or attempts to render] [or willfully fails to exercise his authority to prevent the grant, or rendition of any undue benefit or favour which he could have prevented by exercising his authority.”[23] The Amendment supplemented section 9(a)(vi) by adding an explanation regarding what the misuse of authority would exactly be. As per that explanation, nothing was to be construed as a misuse of authority in the absence of corroborative evidence of any monetary benefit which could not be reasonably accounted for.[24]

The Amendment also introduced a new clause – section 9(a)(xiii) – to section 9(a). The clause stated that in the absence of corroborative evidence, an act done by a public official in good faith while discharging his or her duties was not to be construed as an offence under NAO 1999.[25]

The Amendment made changes to two sections in particular, namely section 4 and section 9. Apart from classifying the persons and transactions which would not lie within NAB’s jurisdiction, the crux of the Amendment was basically that public office holders could not be held accountable for procedural deficiencies, misuse of authority, or acts done in good faith unless and until there was corroborative proof that they had materially benefited from any frozen or liquid assets which were disproportionate to their known sources of income or which could not be reasonably accounted for. The Amendment narrowed down the accountability criteria for public officials by adding broad and vague elements, such as ‘good faith’ and ‘material benefit which cannot be reasonably accounted for’, without specifying exactly what would constitute corroborative evidence of material benefit.

Additionally, the NAO Amendment 2019 also protected businesspersons along with the holders of public office. According to section 5(o) of the NAO 1999, a ‘person’ also included the chair, chief executive, managing director, elected directors and sponsors or guarantors of any company or a body corporate.[26] According to Section 4(2)(b) of the NAO Amendment 2019, unless and until a person,[27] not a holder of public office or not linked to it directly or indirectly, committed the crime of cheating and criminal breach of trust, he or she would not be liable for any offence under NAO 1999, which had not been the case before.[28] This has been interpreted to extend protection to businesspersons along with the office of public holders. One possible reason could have been that it was quite difficult to have clear and corroborative proof of unjust monetary benefits for businesses, as even if there had been a case of regarding default or money laundering, it would most likely be considered as embezzlement, which would not lie within the ambit of NAB’s jurisdiction. Instead, the matter would be heard by criminal courts or specialized tribunals dealing with taxes, imposts and levies.

NAB suspects have been able to claim relief under the retrospective effect of the Amendment. In a recent case, Muhammad Bilal Sheikh v National Accountability Bureau, the director of a company was able to secure a post-arrest bail based on the new Amendment.[29] The petitioner (President, Sindh Bank Limited and also Executive Director, Board of Directors, Sindh Bank Limited), had been arrested by NAB and a reference had been filed against him for the offence of corruption and money laundering. It was alleged that he had influenced the sanctioning body for granting finance facilities to benami companies of the Omni Group, i.e. M/s Rubicon Builders and Developers Pvt. Ltd, M/s Seracom Stock and Capital Pvt. Ltd and Park View Stock and Capital Pvt. Ltd. The latter two loans/finances were in default and the amount remained outstanding. Hence, the petitioner had misused his authority within the meaning of corruption as provided in section 9(a)(vi) of NAO 1999. It was argued by the petitioner’s counsel that there had been no clear corroborative proof to show that the petitioner had been involved in corruption and that the said Amendment had retrospective application since it aimed to merely provide an explanation of the existing law. Thus, businesses and directors of companies used the Amendment as a shield against prosecution by NAB by asserting that they no longer lied within the purview of the NAO. Post-arrest bail had been granted to the petitioner in the case merely because the court held that since the law appliesd in a retrospective manner, the prosecution had failed to make a case for misuse of authority. The court held that “apparent concealment was not in the place and hence proper misuse of authority case had not been made out.”[30] The court further concluded that “nowhere in the Reference, it has been mentioned that the authority was exercised for any monetary benefit or was done so to grant monetary benefit to another with the intention of doing so and in an unprofessional manner.”[31] Thus, the heightened threshold of the Amendment brought relief to the petitioner, the director of the company, under section 4(2)(b) of the Amendment. Consequently, it could also be argued that NAB did not have jurisdiction to even hold them accountable for offences under section 9(a)(ix), (x) and (xi) of NAO 1999 as such matters were criminal in nature and should have been transferred to criminal courts by the virtue of section 4(a)(ii) of the Amendment.

Did the Amendment Effectively Change the Law or Crystallize Already Established Jurisprudence?

The Amendment aimed to only crystallize the jurisprudence already developed by the courts and other laws such as the Civil Servants Act 1976.

The courts have previously established that the offense of embezzlement does not fall within the domain of the National Accountability Bureau. In the case of Muhammad Waqas v. Federation of Pakistan, the court ruled that the offence already featured in the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and dealt with the misappropriation of funds between two private entities that did not necessarily include a public official. Once such misappropriation of funds or withholding of money or assets involved a public official, the offence would be termed as corruption.[32]

In the famous Saaf Pani case, the court clearly established the significant rule that mere procedural irregularities during the discharge of duties would not be construed as misuse of authority to constitute an offence under section 9(a)(vi) of NAO 1999. The charge of misuse of authority would be attracted under the NAO 1999 only when there had been a wrong and improper exercise of authority by the public official for a purpose not intended by law. It meant that if a person knowingly, and with malicious intent, used his or her authority for some illegal purpose or for some unwarranted profit, only then should his or her actions have been construed as misuse of authority.[33] In another case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan held that in order to ascertain whether the offence fell within the purview of section 9(a)(vi) and attracted the punishment prescribed in section 10, it was important to draw a distinction between mere procedural lapses and actual violations of substantial provisions of law. This is because mere procedural irregularities may only bring the act done in official capacity within the ambit of misconduct, which is different from criminal misconduct.[34]

Therefore, unless it is clearly shown through evidence that an act or series of acts done during a transaction constitute an offence, the criminal charge would be groundless. The burden always lies on the prosecution to prove the commission of an offence. So, by analyzing the aforementioned case-law, it can be argued that the explanation added to section 9((a)(vi) merely crystallized the principle already established by the courts by reversing the burden of proof on the prosecution as opposed to what had originally been envisaged by section 14 of NAO 1999. Section 14 of the NAO 1999 outlines the onus of proof and its requirements. A mere reading of the section points to a presumption that the accused has accepted illegal gratification, unless it is proved otherwise. This goes against the well-established maxim, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ whereby, unless the prosecution discharges the initial burden of proving the charge, no presumption of guilt can be raised.[35] However, the courts, while discussing this section in various cases, have interpreted this principle differently. In the case of Mansur-ul-Haque v. Government of Pakistan, the court observed the following:

“In the light of concept of criminal administration of justice, the prosecution is not absolved of its duty to prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt under NAB Ordinance as the burden of proof is only shifted on the person facing charge if the prosecution succeeds in making out a reasonable case by discharging the initial burden of proving the charge.”[36]

Moreover, section 3(b) of the Amendment, i.e. section 9(a)(xiii) of the NAO 1999, stated that an ‘act done in good faith while discharging of duties is not to be construed as an offense in absence of any corroborative evidence.’ This is similar to the way in which section 23-A of the Civil Servants Act 1973 provides indemnity to civil servants for actions taken in good faith while performing their official duties.[37] The good faith criteria has already been mentioned in Section 23-A of the Civil Servants Act. The law bars any suit or proceedings brought against a civil servant, provided the aforementioned criteria are met. The Peshawar High Court reasoned for such protective measure by stating the following:

“The Legislature in its wisdom has supplied double protection to the competent authority for his action taken in good faith against his subordinates. Had there been no immunity supplied in the Statute, there would have been stream of litigation against competent authority on such like bald allegations and no one would have dare write such remarks even if subordinate would have been ruining the institution by his acts, omissions and commission and in-competency. There would have been chaos and anarchy in administration of departments. The goal of civilized society or good governance can only be achieved by strict adherence to rule of law. A violation thereof or non-adherence thereto would ultimately relegate to a position, chaotic and bizarre. Should the immunity provided in Act and Rules is relaxed or removed or deemed to be so, it would break open flood gates of suits for damages against reporting officers.”[38]

Hence, if we look at the trends developed by the case-law stated above, it can be asserted that the recent Amendment had merely crystallized the principles already developed by the courts.

Did the Amendment Follow the Same Trajectory as the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) 2007?

In October 2007, the then President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, promulgated the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) 2007 by exercising his powers under Article 89(1) of the Constitution. Under section 2 of the Ordinance, the NRO 2007 was promulgated for the purpose of achieving the object of national reconciliation.[39] It was an attempt to grant pardon to the holders of public office (particularly politicians) from pending corruption cases. The Ordinance was immensely criticized and unsuccessfully challenged in the Supreme Court. Among the many provisions of NRO 2007 that were challenged, there was also section 7. Section 7(2) of NRO 2007 stated that,

“No action or claim by way of suit, prosecution, complaint or other civil or criminal proceeding shall lie against the Federal, Provincial or Local Government, the National Accountability Bureau or any of their officers and functionaries for any act or thing done or intended to be done in good faith pursuant to the withdrawal and termination of cases under sub-section (1) unless they have deliberately misused authority in violation of law.”[40]

The amended section 9 of the NAO 1999 provides protection to the holders of public office from any or all sorts of prosecution lying within the ambit of corruption or corrupt practices, unless there is corroborative evidence of monetary benefit disproportionate to the public office holder’s income. From a mere reading of clauses vi and xiii of section 9 as well as section 7(2) of the NRO 2007, both appear to be similar.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, while discussing section 7 of NRO 2007, held that in order to make a classification reasonable, it should be based on an intelligible difference which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped from those who have been left out having a rational nexus.[41] It was argued that section 7 also violated:

“Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution as it provides protection to a chosen category of people i.e. public office holders, from proceedings, actions and orders passed by the competent authorities, whereas no such powers are available to the Parliament or, for that matter, to the President of Pakistan under Federal or Concurrent Legislative List. This further violates the provisions of Article 25 of the Constitution because it is not based on intelligible differentia. Therefore, it is ultra vires the Constitution as it amounts to defeating the constitutional mandates.”[42]

It can possibly be inferred that by attempting to insert the vague element of ‘good faith’, just as in NRO 2007, public officials were being given blanket protection from corrupt practices. Essentially, classification was made based on those who were holders of public office and those who were not, as had been pointed out by the Supreme Court in the NRO judgment.[43]

The NAO Amendment was also similar to the NRO with regards to the violation of Article 25 of the Constitution because it had not been posing the same standards for the accountability of public officials and other persons. Requirements such as ‘good faith’, ‘material benefit that could be reasonably accounted for’, or ‘corroborative evidence’ were specified for public officials only and not for other persons on whom the NAO 1999 had been applicable as per section 4(1). Even if discriminatory standards had been applied, public officials should have been under more scrutiny and stricter standards should have been applicable on them for the charges of money laundering or corruption. The fact that the Amendment did the opposite puts a question mark on the willingness of the government to hold public officials and bureaucrats accountable.

One of the impacts of the NAO Amendment was that in an attempt to save public officials from the charge of misuse of authority, no matter how minute the matter was, the government provided a blanket cover to a certain class, which could be construed as legitimizing corruption and corrupt practices. That was ultimately against the purposes for which the NAO 1999 had been promulgated in the first place. The NAO 1999 was meant to curb corruption and corrupt practices, irrespective of whoever committed it. The only criteria originally highlighted by the NAO 1999 was that the person had to be a citizen of Pakistan. Therefore, exclusion of  public officials and potentially of businesspersons, by setting a higher standard of proof for them goes against Article 4 of the Constitution according to which all citizens of Pakistan are to be treated as per the law, as well as under Article 25 as explained above. Moreover, just as section 7 of NRO saved public officials from prosecution for acts done in good faith (unless it could be shown that they deliberately misused their authority), the latest NAO Amendment provided the same.

Challenges Presented By the Amendment

Even though the Amendment, to some extent, crystallized principles already developed by case-law, a proper piece of legislation is very different from the jurisprudence established in case-law. This is because the rules established by case-law highly depend on the facts of the case and consider the subjectivity of the circumstances.[44] The law, as structured by the Amendment, did not seem to be flexible, which is essential in cases like these because the transgression has a different impact depending on its severity. It might have made it easier for certain persons to ensure that they go scot-free because of the phrasing of the new Amendment. The Amendment carved out an exception for private corporations and businesses under the new application of the term “person” because it required proof that a particular corporation or a company had been directly or indirectly connected to a public official. It was significant because it became easier for corporations to evade corruption allegations as it was fairly hard to prove the connection between a public official and a private organization, particularly considering how easy it could be to hide paper trails through aliases, etc.[45] Moreover, as seen in the latest case of Muhammad Bilal Sheikh v National Accountability Bureau, many individuals and organizations, who or which had been suspects of corruption, sought relief under the amended Ordinance, arguing in favor of its curative nature and the retrospective application of the law.[46]

Furthermore, the Civil Servants Act 1973 only attempts to secure public officials from false allegations of malicious misconduct. It was never meant to deal with accountability on corruption charges. NAO was solely meant to deal with corruption and corrupt practices and the subsequent exclusion of public officials meant that the NAO 1999 was not serving its original purpose. Moreover, In the case Muhammad Bilal Sheikh v National Accountability Bureau,[47] the court had already established that the explanation added to substantive law through an amendment had a retrospective application. Considering that Pakistan has had a history of corrupt politics and governance with subsequent effects on cases where interim references have been filed, this will act as a shield for certain individuals from prosecution, because a precedent has been set.

The fact that the jurisdiction of NAB had been curtailed and the cases pertaining to taxes, imposts and levies were transferred to the relevant criminal courts, could lead to possible clogging of the criminal litigation system, specifically in the sense that such matters would not be the only type of cases that the courts and authorities would have to cater to. Moreover, since the Amendment has also expired, no mechanism has been proposed as to what will happen to the pending cases in these criminal courts and tribunals. This will, as a result, require more time for the conclusion of cases in criminal courts. Additionally, the Amendment did not prescribe the same qualification of judges of the relevant criminal courts and tribunals, as required by NAB.[48] Thus, the expiration of the Amendment will present another challenge as to whether or not the judges have been equipped to handle such cases in the first place and whether the cases are to be transferred back to the relevant accountability courts.


In light of the case-law discussed above, it is clear that the recent Amendment merely served to crystallize the jurisprudence and principles developed by the courts while interpreting the provisions under consideration. The Ordinance did not achieve anything substantial. The Amendment should have addressed the issue of bail in the accountability courts (as the courts of first instance), which was one of the recommendations provided by Chief Justice, Asif Khosa as well.[49] Primarily, due to the non-availability of bail at the initial level, the High Courts and the Supreme Court get burdened by appeals, thereby rendering the ‘non-bailable’ nature of the offence impractical, because the same is acquired through the constitutional petitions.[50]

The fact that NAB’s jurisdiction had been clipped in matters relating to taxes and imposts was problematic. It was assumed that the matters in which taxes, imposts and levies had been eschewed by the people for their own benefit did not constitute corruption. The Amendment should not have grouped all kinds of taxation, levy and impost matters into one and should have directed them to specialized tribunals. There should have been a category where inaccurate handling of tax money by a public official for his or her benefit should have been within the NAB’s jurisdiction. Additionally, the language of the amended Ordinance was vague, thus interpretation could be manipulated to swing both ways. It was used as a reason by many individuals and organizations, who or which had been suspects of corruption, to seek relief under the amended Ordinance, arguing in favour of its curative nature and retrospective effect. The Amendment should have prescribed a temporal scope for its application so that there existed a definitive idea with regards to its retroactive application and what would happen in case the law expired. In the absence of such a scope, courts were burdened to infer the intent of the legislature with regards to its retroactive application and further burdened with confusion regarding what to do with the pending cases which had been transferred to criminal courts and relevant tribunals.

With the expiration of the Amendment, it is pertinent that the legislature establishes an authority by passing a new amendment as soon as possible so that a definitive course of action exists and all pending cases with regard to these NAB’s specific provisions can be resolved in a clearer manner. Until this happens, legal practitioners will keep facing the challenges brought about by this Amendment and through the limbo created by its promulgation and subsequent expiration.


[1] United Nations, ‘United Nations Convention against Corruption’ (Audiovisual Library of International Law, 31 October 2003) <> accessed 20 January 2020.
[2] ‘United Nations Convention against Corruption’ (31 October 2003).
[3] United Nations, ‘Signature and Ratification Status’ (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 26 June 2018) <> accessed 20 January 2020.
[4] Transparency International , ‘Pakistan; Corruption Perception Index’ (Transparency International: An International Coalition Against Corruption, 2019) <> accessed 20 January 2020.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Hamid Khan, Constitutional and Political History of Pakistan (3rd edn, Oxford University Press 2019) 598-599.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid, 610.
[10] Ibid, 658.
[11] National Accountability Ordinance 1999, Section 6.
[12] National Accountability Ordinance 1999, Section 9.
[13] National Accountability Ordinance 1999, Section 5(m)(iv).
[14] Ibid.
[15] National Accountability Ordinance 1999, Section 4.
[16] National Accountability Bureau v Murad Arshad PLD 2019 SC 250.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid, paragraph 14.
[19] National Accountability (2nd Amendment) Ordinance 2019, section 4(2)(a)(i)(ii).
[20] Ibid, section 4(2)(b).
[21] Ibid, section 4(2)(c).
[22] National Accountability (2nd Amendment) Ordinance 2019, section 4(2)(d).
[23] Ibid, section 9(a)(vi).
[24] Ibid.
[25] Ibid, section 9(a)(xiii)
[26] National Accountability Ordinance 1999, section 5 (o).
[27] Ibid, Section 5.
[28] National Accountability Bureau v Murad Arshad PLD 2019 SC 250.
[29] Muhammad Bilal Sheikh v National Accountability Bureau W.P. NO.4166-2019.
[30] Ibid, paragraph 8
[31] Ibid, paragraph 13
[32] Muhammad Waqas v Federation of Pakistan 2017 PCrLJN 171.
[33] Engineer Raja Qamar Ul Islam v National Accountability Bureau 2019 P Cr. L J 582.
[34] State v Anwar Saif Ullah Khan PLD 2016 SC 276.
[35] Mansur-ul-Haque v Government of Pakistan, PLD 2008 Karachi 166.
[36] Ibid, paragraph [9].
[37] Civil Servants Act 1973, section 23A.
[38] Ahmed Arshad v Muhammad Hassan 2016 P L C (C.S.) 845.
[39] National Reconciliation Order 2007, Section 2.
[40] National Reconciliation Order 2007, Section 7(2).
[41] Dr. Mobashir Hassan v Federation of Pakistan PLD 2010 SC 265, paragraph 58.
[42] Ibid, paragraph 2.
[43] Dr. Mobashir Hassan v Federation of Pakistan PLD 2010 SC 265.
[44] Luca Anderlini and others, ‘Statute Law or Case Law? Discussion Paper No TE/2008/528 ‘ [2008] The Suntory-Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines 4-5
[45] Bhatti Haseeb , ”What is the reason for these gifts?’: Sharif family money trail under scrutiny in Supreme Court’ (Dawn News, January 18 2017) <> accessed 28 May 2020
[46] Muhammad Bilal Sheikh v National Accountability Bureau W.P. NO.4166-2019.
[47] Ibid.
[48] National Accountability Ordinance 1999, Section 5(h).
[49] The News, Lonely amendment to NAB law: SC recommended changes, official proposals missing from presidential ordinance (7 November 2019) <>
[50] Ibid.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of or any organization with which she might be associated.

Iqra Saif Agha

Author: Iqra Saif Agha

The writer is a law graduate from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She has previously interned with Insaaf Camp and Courting The Law. She has a keen interest in constitutional law, human rights, intellectual property and technology law.