Ex-BISP chairperson declared PO

Accountability court fixes new date for indicting Farzana Raja


Our Correspondent June 08, 2021
Farzana Raja. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

An accountability court (AC) in Islamabad on Monday declared PPP leader Farzana Raja proclaimed offender in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) reference and issued non-bailable arrest warrant for her.

Farzana, the former BISP chairperson, had not appeared before the court despite being summoned several times.

Syed Asghar Ali of the AC heard the case. The court ordered for blocking the CNIC of the PPP leader and putting her name on the Exit Control List.

During the hearing, the counsels for the co-accused asked the court whether the reference was final or supplementary. They said that an accused cannot be indicted in the supplementary reference.

The AC citing the apex court observed that an investigation could not be brought to an end when the proceedings are underway.

Read Arrest warrants issued for Farzana Raja in BISP corruption reference

The court fixed a new date for the indictment of Farzana after separating the proceedings from the reference and also summoned the NAB investigation officer.

It ordered the accused to ensure their presence and adjourned the hearing of the case until June 14.
The reference against Farzana and others stated that a complaint was received in the anti-graft watchdog which alleged that the BISP awarded contracts to advertising agencies in 2009-10 and 2010-11 in violation of the Public Procurement Rules (PPR), 2004.

It was further alleged that Rs1.657 billion was awarded to one advertising agency, Midas (Pvt) Limited.
The competent authority authorised an inquiry on May 23, 2014 which was subsequently upgraded into investigation.

It further said that the evidence collected during the investigation had established that Farzana and others being public office holders pre-qualified advertising agencies in 2009 and awarded the media campaign of the BISP in violation of the PPR, 2004 as well as PID guidelines.

It said they released media payments against the alleged exaggerated fake bills submitted by the suspects and committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices.

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