Babar Awan acquittal plea verdict deferred till May 6

Awan accused in Nandipur Power Project reference

Our Correspondent April 30, 2019
Babar Awan. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad deferred the announcement of its reserved judgement on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan’s acquittal plea in the Nandipur Power Project reference.

Judge Arshad Malik was expected to announce the verdict during today’s (Tuesday) hearing. However, he delayed the verdict so that he court could announce its verdict to all acquittal petitions in the case collectively at the next date.

“A number of petitions for acquittal in the case have been filed in the court,” the judge remarked during the hearing.

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 NAB.

The case

The Nandipur power project was a project in Punjab commenced during the PPP’s tenure in power through which it was claimed that 525 MW of electricity had been generated while different political parties had alleged corruption in the project.

The project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on December 27, 2007, at an estimated cost of $329 million.

The contract was signed in January 2008, between Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation (DEC), China. Two consortiums — COFACE for 68.967 million euros and SINOSURE for $150.151 million —were set up for financing the project.

In 2009, the water and power approached the law ministry to issue a legal opinion, but the latter in connivance with the accused, refused to issue on flimsy grounds, claims the reference.

Moreover, the water and power ministry failed to take any action to address the issue. The legal opinion was issued in November 2011. The delay caused a loss of Rs27 billion.


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