ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad resumed hearing in the Nandipur Power Project reference on Monday, reserving the judgment in the case which will be announced on February 20.
During the hearing, Former Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan presented arguments before the court for his acquittal and clarified that when the two summaries for the power project were sent to the law ministry, he was not the minister.
He argued that even after he resigned as the minister, the law ministry did not approve the summaries and said such summaries were usually approved by the law secretary.
He also said that the NAB chairperson’s statement although states that all the accused are corrupt or involved in corrupt practices, his name is nowhere to be found. In addition, Awan said that “Despite the Supreme Court’s orders to not humiliate anyone and to ensure that only the corrupt are targeted, I am here today.”
In response to Awan’s arguments, the NAB prosecutor said that the findings of Hussain Jaffri Commission are there for all to see and that the Ministry of Law only had to issue one form that it did not.
“The forms were not issued due to the negligence of the ministry, which was under working Babar Awan at the time,” said the NAB prosecutor. The prosecutor also said that all letters from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat are on record and that they were all addressed to the ministry during Awan’s time.
He said if the trial goes forward they will bring in the necessary evidence and also produce a total of 37 witnesses that they have gathered in the case.
The prosecutor also informed the court that the finance ministry had already approved the form that then got stuck in the law ministry and resulted in the loss of millions of rupees. “How can a public servant say he has done nothing when losses in millions have been incurred because of him?” the NAB prosecutor argued the court. He added that Awan’s case holds no substance and should not be given a day in court.
Awan replied that although it is being alleged that he did not approve a summary, the said summary has not been presented in court. “There is not even a grain of evidence suggesting that delays in the power project were because of me,” Awan said. He further said, this case has existed before his tenure and now he was being falsely implicated in it.