SC seeks details of Nandipur power project from NAB

CJ laments slow pace of probe; mulls over summoning NAB ex-chief Qamar Zaman


Babar Anwar
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday directed the national graft buster to submit complete details of the alleged corruption that the bureau had unearthed in the Nandipur Power Project.
The power project remains delayed since the time of National Accountability Bureau (NAB’s) former chairman Qamar Zaman.
The hearing was conducted by a three-member bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Saqib Nisar.
At the outset of the hearing, the NAB prosecutor told the court that the investigation into the misappropriation was still pending, to which the bench inquired about the time since the reference had been pending.
The prosecutor informed the court that the investigation had been initiated on February 20, 2017. The ministry of interior was a reason for two years delay in completion of investigation. He further informed the top judges that the probe against the outsourcing in Nandipur project was initiated just two months back, in June 2018.
CJ Nisar asked the prosecutor of the witnesses that had, so far, recorded their statements in the case. Nisar lamented that the case had been pending since quite some time now and that the slow pace of investigation was ‘not workable’.
The NAB prosecutor further informed the court that the power project was initiated in January 2016.
The bench, during the hearing, also asked for the names of the directors of Nandipur project. It was told that Ali Asghar Qureshi remains the chief executive officer (CEO) of the project. CJ Nisar remarked that the NAB should make references on need or where it was legally binding, since the bureau reserved no such authority to harass people.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the relevant ministry had dispatched the issue for NAB consultation in 2012. Nisar said that the bureau has taken years to investigate the scam but did nothing, adding no one knows how much more time it will need to churn out commendable results.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the NAB becomes actives as the court takes notice.
Directing the prosecutor to provide details of the references pending with the NAB and the accountability court (AC), Nisar said that the matter would be clearer if the bureau’s former chief Zaman is summoned.

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