The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday wrapped up a case pertaining to the delay in the construction in Nandipur power project after the three-member bench was told that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a reference in this regard.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading the bench, expressed satisfaction over the development and said that NAB should not let the SC's observations "affect the accountability court".
He added that the application — filed by former defence minister Khawaja Asif — had been rendered ineffective after NAB's reference and dismissed it.
The chief justice said that the delay in the filing of the reference was due to the law ministry's lack of cooperation.
Nandipur power project case
The Nandipur case was initiated in August this year when the SC restored the 2011 petition of former minister for defence Khawaja Asif on alleged corruption in the construction of 525-megawatt combined cycle power plant at Nandipur (Gujranwala). The court had also issued notices to Wapda and the Pakistan Electric Power Company.
In 2013, the apex court on the petition appointed a one-man commission of retired Justice Rehmat Hussain Jafri on the Nandipur project. In its 94-page report, the commission concluded that the national exchequer suffered a colossal loss of Rs113 billion due to negligence of the then federal law ministry for causing delay in giving necessary approval and completing documents for the execution of 950-megawatt power generation projects of Nandipur and Chichon-Ki-Malian.
The commission ruled that there was negligence on the part of the executive authorities of the federal law ministry, which caused the delay in completion of the projects.
The report explained that Nandipur and Chichon-Ki-Malian projects could not take off due to the criminal negligence of the federal law ministry on frivolous technical grounds. It added that the law ministry did not clear the issuance of sovereign guarantee of the finance ministry to the contractor, resulting in the termination of work.
Babar Awan, the then law minister, later told the SC bench headed by then CJP Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry that he was being persecuted by his political opponents.