*ISLAMABAD – Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik framed charges against former federal minister Babar Awan, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and other accused in the Nandipur power project case on Monday.*
However, all accused pleaded not guilty. The court has summoned witnesses on March 19.
The judge remarked that he wants to dispose the reference at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the court has decided to try the case on daily basis.
The Nandipur reference was filed against seven politicians and government officials in September last year.
The accused include ex-PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Babar Awan, former law secretaries Muhammad Masood Chishti and Justice (retd) Riaz Kiyani, ex-research consultant for the law ministry Shamila Mahmood, ex-senior joint secretary of the law ministry Dr Riaz Mahmood and ex-secretary of the Water and Power Ministry Shahid Rafi.
In the reference, NAB contended that the project located in Gujranwala had been delayed for two years, one month and 15 days, causing a loss of Rs27.3 billion to the national exchequer.
It maintained that the project was not completed on time because the accused failed to issue their legal opinions.