Baber Awan’s acquittal plea accepted in Nandipur corruption case

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday accepted acquittal plea of Babar Awam and Justice Riaz Kayani in the Nandipur corruption case.

The acquittal pleas of Shumaila Mehmood, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Dr Riaz Mehmood were also rejected by the court.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had nominated a total of seven accused, five of whom had earlier filed bail pleas, in this reference pertaining to delay in execution of the Nandipur Power Project which caused a loss of Rs 27 billion to the national exchequer.

The Nandipur project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet on Dec 27, 2007, at a cost of $329 million. After the approval, the contract was signed on Jan 28, 2008, between the Northern Power Generation Company Limited and the Dong Fang Electric Corporation, China. Two consortiums — Coface for 68.967m euros and Sinosure for $150.151m — were set up for financing the project.

Awan, who served as the federal minister for law and justice in the cabinet of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, said that two summaries were submitted to the law ministry for the project but he wasn’t the law minister then.

He said that his name is not mentioned anywhere in the reference filed by the NAB.

The water and power ministry sought legal opinion on the project from the law ministry in accordance with the schedule of the agreement in July 2009, but the accused repeatedly refused to provide it, according to NAB. The water and power ministry also failed to take any concrete steps to resolve the issue and the matter remained pending.

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