ISLAMABAD - A special committee formed by the Supreme Court on illegal appointments in the National Accountability Bureau has given clean chit to the bureau’s four director-generals in its report submitted to the apex court, The Nation has learnt. 

The committee had served notices to 22 officers including four DGs of the bureau in the first week of May, summoning them for personal hearing.

The NAB notice had said: “It is submitted that in pursuance of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 31-03 2017 in the suo moto case (No 13 of 2016) and in accordance with Sections 8.02, 8.03 and Chapter-11 of NAB’s TCS, as the case may be, the 22 officers have been advised to appear for personal hearing in the committee room, Establishment Division Islamabad, if they so desire, along with supporting documents, if any, to satisfy the committee.”

The NAB had also summoned four DGs, Zahir Shah, Brig (retd) Farooq Naser Awan, Mohammad Altaf Bowani and Husnain Ahmed on May 4 and recorded their statements in the case.

Well-placed sources told The Nation that the probe committee in its report submitted to the Supreme Court has declared the four DGs fit for the job.

According to documents available with The Nation, the committee said in the case of DG Operations Zahir Shah that “the committee is of the view that the selection committee at the time of consideration of his initial appointment did not examine the particular issue in depth so as to evaluate whether or not the experience of the officer in the relevant filed justifies his appointment in the light of advertisement/NAB MAQs-2002. However, the committee now recommends that may subject to confirmation of the contents of his experience certifies from his previous employer (s) which he has submitted afresh in compliance with the directions may consider his retention as Additional Director (BS-19) in 2004 and Director General (BS-21) in 2013 in NAB.”  

Shah also appeared as a witness in the Avenfield case against the Sharif family in the accountability court last week.

Interestingly, all four DGs had been appointed in the last interim set-up with the approval of the former caretaker prime minister. Similarly, DG Lahore Bureau Shahzad Saleem is also facing an illegal degree case.  

Last year, the apex court taking the suo moto notice of the illegal appointment had constituted a three-member inquiry committee with a task to examine the appointments, promotions, deputations and absorptions made in the bureau since 1999.    

Earlier, in pursuance of the Supreme Court order, the NAB had issued show cause notices to 50 officers for personal hearings in the first week of November 2017.

On October 26, the NAB prosecutor presented a report to the Supreme Court stating that of the 102 cases, the committee reviewed cases of 52 officers, but the scrutiny was stopped after the retirement of the former secretary Establishment Division.

The Supreme Court had also forfeited the services of four DGs who were not appointed in the bureau on merit in the same case last year.