- Former PM, PTI leader and five others to be indicted on 24th
- Ashraf’s counsel submits plea for his permanent exemption
ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday ordered for the indictment of former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Babar Awan and five others in the Nandipur Power Project reference.
Accountability Court I Judge Muhammad Bashir heard the reference and fixed October 24 as the indictment date for the accused in the reference.
As the hearing went underway, the court directed the concerned authorities to make sure the seven accused, including Ashraf and Awan, are present for the next hearing.
Earlier during the hearing, Ashraf’s counsel submitted a plea for his permanent exemption. The court issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the former premier’s request.
On September 18, the accountability court had ordered Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Dr Babar Awan to submit surety bonds of Rs0.2 million each in the Nandipur Power Project case.
The two were summoned by the accountability court during which the court approved their bail and directed them to submit their surety bonds.
Speaking to media after the hearing, Ashraf had said, “I am surprised to find my name linked to this case. The case against me is baseless.”
Earlier, Awan and Ashraf were summoned for the hearing of the case that was held in Islamabad accountability court.
The reference was filed by NAB over alleged delay in the project, inflicting a whopping Rs27 billion loss to national exchequer. The court had also ordered former law secretary Masood Chishti and Riaz Kiyani to appear before the court.
Previously, Babar Awan tendered resignation from his post after the NAB filed a reference against him in the accountability court over the scam.
In his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PTI leader had said that he resigned from his post to prove the allegations against him are baseless.
The Nandipur Power Project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on December 27, 2007, at a cost of $329 million.
Its contract was signed on January 28, 2008, between the Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation of China and two consortiums — COFACE for 68.967 million euros and SINOSURE for $150.151m — were established for financing the project.
The case was initiated after the Supreme Court restored the 2011 petition filed by former defence minister Khawaja Asif regarding corruption in the Nandipur project. The court had issued notices to the Water and Power Development Authority and the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).