General

Court reserves judgment on Babar Awan’s acquittal plea in Nandipur Power Project

Accountability court on Monday has reserved its judgment on the acquittal plea of former Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan in Nandipur Power Project reference and will announce it on February 20.
During the hearing, Awan completed arguments for his acquittal in the reference while National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor also presented his stance.
While presenting arguments in the case, Awan adopted stance that Nandipur Power Project is still pending whereas two summaries were sent to law ministry before he took up his post.
The summary was not approved even after he resigned from the post, added the former advisor to PM.
“A federal minister never approves such a summary as it is the task of secretary. I have not been named in the references filed by NAB. SC had directed NAB to file a reference against those delaying the project but NAB left them and filed an immediate reference against us,” told Awan.
NAB prosecutor Zeeshan Masood while opposing the petition maintained that NAB chairman had ordered to file reference against Babar Awan and six other suspects. “Law ministry was asked for opinion before filing reference. Babar Awan comes third among those responsible,” he told.
The presecutor claimed that law ministry had approved the summary before Awan became minister and directed immediate working on the project.
“Attorney General also approved the same summary. Finance ministry signed the government guarantee form but law ministry did not. It took one year to sign the form in Awan’s tenure. The summary was sent four times to law ministry. However; after Babar left the law ministry cooperated,” he said.
Masood requested the court to reject Awan’s acquittal plea.
Earlier, accountability court had directed Babar Awan and former Prime Minister (PM) Raja Pervez Ashraf to submit bail bonds worth Rs 0.2m each.
Soon after the reference was filed, Babar Awan had resigned as Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan on parliamentary affairs and said that he had resigned from his position to prove the allegations against him as baseless.
The project remained a victim of delays since its inception.
In 2012, a one-man commission comprising retired Justice Rehmat Hussain Jafri had revealed in a report that due to the delays in the project, the national exchequer had suffered a loss of whooping Rs. 27 billion.