Court to hear Nandipur reference after wrapping up Nawaz’s cases

An accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday announced that it will hear the Nandipur Power Project reference after wrapping up National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases against former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik heard the reference against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Babar Awan and others.
During the hearing, Judge Malik remarked, “The court is busy with the references against Nawaz Sharif as the Supreme Court has directed us directed us to conclude the cases by November 17.”
NAB also submitted a reply in court pertaining to Awan’s acquittal plea.
Further, the court exempted Ashraf from appearances till the date of indictment.
The court then delayed the indictment of Ashraf, Awan and five others accused in the reference. Earlier this month, the court had fixed October 24 (today) as the date for the indictment of the seven accused.
The hearing of the case was then adjourned till November 26.
On Monday, the accountability court announced that it will hear a NAB reference against former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after wrapping up cases against Nawaz.
On September 4, NAB had filed a corruption reference against former minister for law and justice Babar Awan regarding a delay in Nandipur Project.
The former federal minister for water and power, Ashraf, along with other officers of the ministry, also faces a corruption reference for the delay in the project.
The corruption references were filed after a commission, constituted at the behest of the Supreme Court, held officers of the Ministry of Law and Justice responsible for the delay.
The case
The Nandipur Power Project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in December 2007 at a cost of 329 million dollars. After approval, the contract was signed in January 2008, between Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation (DEC), China and two consortiums — COFACE for 68.967 million euros and SINOSURE for 150.151 million dollars.
In 2008, the Ministry of Water and Power approached the Ministry of Law to issue a legal opinion but accused in connivance with each other and with malafide intentions, the latter repeatedly refused to issue on flimsy grounds.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Water and Power also failed to take any concrete measures to resolve the issue and the matter remained pending.
The legal opinion was issued in November 2011; the delay caused a loss of 27 billion rupees.