NAB is going to file references against Mushtaq Raisani, the former Finance Secretary of Balochistan as well as a contractor named Sohail Majeed Shah. The accountability bureau had a pre-bargain settlement with Mushtaq Raisani in a mega corruption scandal.
NAB had previously accepted plea bargain applications as the accused offered PKR 2 billion to the national exchequer. A National Accountability Team had arrested Raisani on 6th May 2016. The team that apprehended Mushtaq Raisani also found confidential documents and recover PKR 603 million from him.
Mushtaq Raisani Took Advantage of Plea Bargain Provision
A plea bargain has become a common word routinely discussed on political talk shows within Pakistan.
So what is a plea bargain?
The National Accountability Bureau added a provision back in 1999 allowing people who were involved in the graft to pay a certain amount of the actual money embezzled and get released without charge. Supreme Court of Pakistan, while listening to the Panama Case asked the NAB Chairman not to approve plea bargain deals.
NAB Chairman’s Reply to Plea Bargain Criticism Back in 2016
The NAB Chairman, to silence the critics of a plea bargain, said that plea bargain provisions existed in the law of many other countries.
Here is what NAB Chairman said about the process of evaluating a plea bargain.
“The request for a plea bargain is thoroughly reviewed and opinion of the law experts is also sought. Finally, approval for the plea bargain is acquired from the court.”
The Chairman further added that after the introduction of a plea bargain by the National Accountability Bureau, the authority was able to recover around PKR 285 billion and recently recovered around PKR 45 billion.
Background of the Case Against Mushtaq Raisani
National Accountability Bureau had received information that some particular constituencies were deviating the LG funds in large amounts. The National Accountability Bureau launched an investigation to establish the fact that around PKR 2.31 was released to two LG institutions.
The investigations unearthed that the amount was credited to six bank accounts of contractors. However, there was no physical proof of any expenditure on the project.
Administrator of Secretary Finance directly made the request to release fund, and the amounts were directly released while bypassing the LG department.
The trail of these six bank accounts revealed that the amount was invested in 11 properties later surrendered to NAB. The value of the properties stands at around PKR 1 billion.
Some money was also sent to contractor Shah in the form of kickbacks and commissions. Later both Mushtaq Raisani and Sohail Majeed Shah applied for a plea bargain. A NAB Executive Board meeting approved the plea bargain.