LAHORE: An accountability court on Monday acquitted former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in a case related to illegal recruitment in the Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO).
Judge Amjad Nazir Chaudhry accepted the request for the dismissal of the case, which had been filed recently after the government introduced amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law through a presidential ordinance.
NAB had filed a reference against the former premier in 2016 for recruiting 437 people illegally to the authority in his capacity as minister for water and power. According to the NAB prosecutor, individuals who had not even applied were given jobs, merit was ignored and appointments had been made on a political basis.
The recruitment had also violated the policy of written examinations and domicile, NAB had alleged.
The reference had nominated, along with Ashraf, former Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) managing director Tahir Basharat Cheema, former secretary for ministry of water and power Shahid Rafi, former director Board of Governors PEPCO Mohammad Saleem Arif, Malik Mohammad Razi Abbas, and Wazir Ali Bhayo, former PEPCO chief Mohammad Ibrahim Majoka and former director HR Hashmat Ali Kazmi.
Talking to the media outside the court, Ashraf said he was happy that his request for dismissal of the case had been approved. He said the PPP had always respected courts, adding that the party “fights its cases in courts and not against them”.