SC orders NAB to expedite Nandipur investigation

Published: June 8, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Vowing to expose the alleged ‘fraud’ in the project, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to expedite its investigation in alleged corruption in Nandipur power project.

“Why Nandipur power plant is still not complete?” the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar questioned while heading a three-judge bench on Thursday. “We want to see the fraud that took place in this project,” he added

He also said a report prepared by Justice (retd) Rehmat Hussain Jafri regarding the project is available to court and the bench will look into allegations of corruption.

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The secretary energy told the court that Nandipur power project was started in 2008 to generate 525 megawatts of electricity. It was estimated to cost Rs22 billion but the cost went up to multiple times due to various reasons.

According to the ministry’s report, only 25 per cent staff could be retained on the project in view of the new agreement with the managing company. It claimed that the present cost of electricity produced by the plant was less than the previous cost.

However, the bench sought a fresh report on the project. NAB has been investigating the power project scam since 2012. The national exchequer has borne over Rs113 billion losses due to delay in the project.

Voting by overseas Pakistanis

Despite the Supreme Court’s immense efforts, the overseas Pakistanis once again would not get the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in upcoming general election 2018.

“I tried that the overseas Pakistanis could get facility to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming polls but right now damage may occur at large scale if any further step is initiated in this case,” said the CJP while hearing a case related voting rights of overseas Pakistanis.

When the SC three-judge bench, headed by CJP, resumed hearing of the case, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) counsel Chaudhry Faisal Hussain said it seemed that overseas Pakistanis would not be able to cast vote in upcoming elections.

However, he said, efforts should be continued for this purpose. Hussain also lauded the apex court’s efforts to ensure right of vote for overseas Pakistanis.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Babar Yaqoob told the court that according to a third party evaluation, E-Voting system could not be introduced.  “There is a need to work on online voting system,” he added.

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The bench later asked the ECP to make public the Task Force report. However, the CJP said in the by-elections, E-voting system could be examined.  The hearing of case is adjourned for indefinite period.

The National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) spent millions of rupees to develop software to ensure right of vote to overseas Pakistanis and arranged briefing with all stakeholders at the Supreme Court premise on April 12.

It was a unique briefing, which media persons were allowed to cover on camera at the SC auditorium hall.  The SC three-judge bench, headed by the CJP, was also present to witness the briefing. The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Raza and a number of lawmakers were also attended the briefing.

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