ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday arrested a former Tawana Pakistan Project (TPP) official after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed his pre-arrest bail plea.
An IHC bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani dismissed the plea of Ashiq Hussain Sanghi in the multi-billion rupee TPP scam.
On January 12, the same bench dismissed post-arrest bail petition of former director general social welfare department Balochistan Irfanullah Khan in the same case.
The NAB had initiated an inquiry against Khan and others in 2009on corruption charges on the directives of the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission.
The officials were accused of corruption and misuse of authority causing losses of Rs164.796 million to the national exchequer. The officials were further accused of causing losses of Rs5.28 million to the exchequer by not deducting income tax from allocations.
The TPP aimed to address nutritional needs of female public school students aged between five and 12 years and living in high poverty areas. The accused allegedly provided unhygienic food that was unfit for human consumption.
Senior government officials were also accused of corruption in the award of a food supply contract to a company in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules 2004.
TPP was launched by the now-devolved ministry of social welfare after the National Economic Council Executive Committee (Ecnec) approved it in September 2002.
Under the project, nutrient milk and other food items were to be provided to schools in less-developed areas.
During an audit of 23 schools in selected districts in the province, about 73 per cent of schoolteachers revealed that milk and other food items supplied to the schools were unhygienic or stale.
The NAB prosecutor opposed the bail plea, saying that the suspect was a principal accused in the TPP scam.
Subsequently, the court dismissed his petition and NAB officials took him into custody for further interrogation.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2016.