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Interim reference filed against 20 suspects in Saaf Pani case

Updated December 04, 2018

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NAB did not nominate PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz in the reference. ─ File photo
NAB did not nominate PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz in the reference. ─ File photo

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau Lahore on Monday filed an interim reference in an accountability court against 20 suspects in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) case.

The NAB did not nominate PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz in the reference as investigation against them were under way for their alleged involvement in irregularities.

To a question whether ‘clean chit’ had been given to the father and the son, a NAB spokesperson said: “No... investigation is still under way against them. If any illegality on their part is established during the course of investigation a supplementary reference will be filed against them (Shahbaz and Hamza),” he said.

The suspects who are facing the NAB reference include PSPC former chief executive officer Wasim Ajmal, its former convener and PML-N leader Engineer Qamarul Islam, Chief Technical Officer Dr Zaheeruddin, Chief Procurement Officer Nasir Qadir Badhal, Consultant Engineer M. Saleem Akhtar, Managing Director KSB Pumps Muhammad Masud Akhter, Deputy Secretary (Housing) Khalid Nadeem Bukhari, former Deputy Secretary Zahoor Ahmed Dogar, ex-chief resident engineer retired Maj Adnan Aftab Khan, Resident Engineer Syed Masoudul Hassan Kazmi, Resident Engineer Muhammad Moeenuddin and Resident Engineer Muhammad Younas.

According to NAB, the suspects are facing allegations of awarding an illegal contract to KSB Pumps for installation of 116 water filtration plants allegedly on exorbitant rates and mala fide involvement of PSPC officials by means of corruption and corrupt practices which caused a collective loss amounting to Rs345 million to the national exchequer.

It further said the suspects prepared the engineering cost estimates at much higher rates in connivance with consultants and officials of the PSPC, whereas weather shield applications on these plants were also approved on exorbitant rates.

The NAB said it initiated investigation against the management and officials of PSPC south and others in August 2018. During the course of investigation, it was revealed that with mala fide intentions a contract was awarded to KSB Pumps for installation of 82 water filtration plants on exorbitant rates and without proper approval of engineering estimates/technical sanction.

The NAB alleged that illegal addendum of 36 additional filtration plants was also approved, wherein the scope of the project was already changed. Later, electrical and solar works were also executed at exorbitant rates during installation of these plants in Bahawalpur Region, including the use of substandard material, it said.

“Investigation against the suspects also disclosed that the weather shield applied on external walls of the filtration plants in Bahawalpur was also marked on exorbitant rates, whereas, eight solar and grid-based filtration plants installed in Dunyapur tehsil were not included into the contract even in the list of four priority tehsils,” the NAB Lahore said.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2018

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