ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued show cause notices to more than 100 officers, asking them to prove that their appointments were legal and were made on merit, The Nation has learnt.

Well-placed sources told The Nation that the bureau had also issued notices to half of its director generals in this regard, and asked them to appear before the inquiry committee and prove that they were hired on merit.

According to documents, available with The Nation, NAB Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar had issued the notice to  an officer that says, “You, Deputy Director (BS-18), are informed through this notice that your initial appointment in NAB as deputy director was inconsistent with Terms and Conditions of Services (TCS 2002) and MAQ, 2002 on account of the following, "The experience certificate from previous department does not indicate if it is acquired in the fields of investigation/inquiries/ research/legal matter."

"And whereas I, as competent authority, am satisfied that show cause notice should be issued to you on the basis of above-mentioned grounds and in pursuance of judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 31-3-2017 in suo motu case No 13/2016 and in accordance with section 8.02 of NAB's TCS,” it said.

"Therefore you are called upon to appear and show cause within 10 days from the receipt of this notice as to why your services may not be terminated as per section 8.02 of NAB employees Terms and Conditions of Services 2002. Your reply will be examined by the committee and after affording your opportunity of hearing, record its findings for transmission to NAB chairman,” it added.

On March 31, Supreme Court constituted a committee headed by Syed Tahir Shahbaz, secretary establishment division and Habibullah Khan Khattak, member of the FPSC and Muhammad Shakeel Malik DG (HRM) as members.

The documents further said that "if no reply to this show cause notice is received within 10 days, it will be presumed that you have no defence to offer in the matter enabling imposition of the appropriate penalty. You should also state if you wish to be heard in person by the committee or not."

Sources said that the committee would also listen to the NAB DGs, including Zahir Shah, Muhammad Altaf Bawani, Husnain Ahmed and Farooq Nasir Awan — whose appointment summaries were sanctioned by the former caretaker prime minister.