NAB files reference against Babar Awan, Parvez Ashraf in Nandipur Project case

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NAB files reference against Babar Awan, Parvez Ashraf in Nandipur Project case

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Tuesday filed a reference in the Accountability Court Islamabad against former Minister for Law and Justice Zaheer Ud Din Babar Awan, former Minister for Water and Power Raja Parvez Ashraf and others regarding delay in the Nandipur Power Project.

The other persons are former Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, Muhammad Masood Chishti, former Secretary Law and Justice, Justice (Retd) Riaz Kiyani, former Research Consultant Ministry of Law and Justice, Shamila Mahmood, former Sr Joint Secretary Law and Justice, Dr Riaz Mahmood and former Secretary Water and Power, Shahid Rafi.

As per details issued by NAB here, the Supreme Court had decided a case (CP No.67/2011) regarding delay in the Nandipur project, nominating a commission consisting of Justice (Retd) Rahmat Hussain Jafferi to determine responsibility for delaying causes.

The said commission conducted an inquiry by examining record as well as witnesses and submitted its report on April 09, 2012, according to which officials and officers of Ministry of Law and Justice were held responsible for the delay.

Thereafter, the Ministry of Water and Power referred the matter to NAB National Accountability Bureau in light of report of Judicial Commission.

As per details, the Nandipur Power Project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on December 27, 2007 at a cost of US $ 329 million. After approval, the contract was signed on January 28, 2008 between Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation (DEC), China, and two consortiums i.e. COFACE for Euro 68.967 million and SINOSURE for US$ 150.151 million were established for financing of the project.

The Ministry of Water and Power approached the Ministry of Law to issue legal opinion as per schedule of agreement in July 2009 but the accused in connivance with each other and with mala fide intentions repeatedly refused to issue opinion on flimsy grounds.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Water and Power also failed to take any concrete measures to resolve the issue, and matter remained pended.

However, after change in guards at Ministry of Law, when Minister Babar Awan was replaced, the same legal opinion was issued in November 2011 i.e. after more than 2 years. This inordinate and mala fide delay caused a huge loss to the national exchequer by about Rs 27 billion approximately.

During the course of an investigation, it has been established that accused persons in connivance with each other failed to exercise their authority and thus caused a loss of Rs 27.292 billion to the national kitty. Hence, they committed the offence(s) of corruption and corrupt practice, as defined u/s 9 (a) (vi) and (xii) read with Sr. 5 of Schedule Offenses of NAO, 1999 as they failed to exercise their authority to save national interest.

The reference was filed by NAB Rawalpindi Investigation Officer Ms. Asma Chaudhry before the Judge Accountability Court, Islamabad.

APP