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LAHORE: A judicial magistrate turned down on Thursday a request by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) to extend physical remand of Nespak general manager Sohail Majeed and junior engineer Wasail Iftikhar, allegedly involved in committing negligence and corruption in the Orange Line Metro Train project.

Magistrate Imtiaz Bajwa said the investigating officer had been failed to furnish any tangible evidence against the suspects during their nine-day physical remand.

He said stereotyped requests for extending remand could not be entertained.

Earlier, the investigating officer told the court that further custody of the suspects was required to complete investigation and recover the amount allegedly embezzled by them.

Opposing the ACE’s plea, the defence counsel argued that the case against the suspects was baseless and fabricated.

He said the embezzled amount had been recovered from the security-deposit by the contractor company. He asked the court to send them on judicial remand.

The magistrate sent the suspects to jail on judicial remand and directed the ACE director general to take action against the investigation officer for poor performance.

The ACE accused the Nespak officers of approving integrity test of some pillars of the project and misappropriation in government funds worth Rs25 million in connivance with two of the former contractors.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017