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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Toshakhana case against Zardari, Gilani, Nawaz sent back to NAB

The court remarked that after the amendments in the NAB Ordinance, a case cannot be registered on an amount less than Rs 500 million. 

In a major development, an accountability court in Islamabad has sent back the Toshakhana reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former president Asif Ali Zardari, ex-prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Nawaz Sharif.

According to the details, the Toshakhana reference was sent back under the amended NAB Ordinance. The court remarked that after the amendments in the NAB Ordinance, a case cannot be registered on an amount less than Rs 500 million. The order was issued by Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir.

To clarify, the National Assembly passed the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act, 2022 with a majority vote, amending the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAO).

Read more: NAB amendment: Court closes assets beyond means case against Ishaq Dar

Under the new amendments, the offense of corruption and corrupt practices as per the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, will be tied to the value of Rs500m. NAB will have no jurisdiction to proceed in corruption cases involving less than Rs500 million.

The bill also strips the president of his authority to appoint judges of accountability courts in consultation with high court chief justices. As a result, courts across the country have returned cases.

Toshakhana cases against Zardari, Nawaz & Gilani

In March 2020, NAB filed the Toshakhana reference in an accountability court against the three political leaders.

According to the accountability bureau, former president Asif Zardari and former premier Nawaz Sharif obtained cars from the Toshakhana by paying 15% of the price of the cars. The bureau further alleged that former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani facilitated Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif in this regard.

Read more: Sessions court reserves verdict in Toshakhana case

The reference filed by NAB alleges that Asif Zardari was gifted luxury cars by the governments of Libya and the United Arab Emirates, and he used them instead of submitting them to the Toshakhana.

The accountability watchdog claimed that former premier Nawaz Sharif was given a car from the Toshakhana by the PPP government in 2008 even though he did not hold any official position in the government.