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Raja’s intra-court appeal over road project rejected

April 08, 2013

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Pervez Ashraf.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Raja Pervez Ashraf in a case regarding road construction contracts in his constituency.

The two-member bench ruled that the award of the contract was against the rules laid down by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PEPRA).

The bench, headed by Justice Anwar Kasi and Justice Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi, was hearing the case in response to a petition filed by a construction company challenging the award of the contract to National Logistic Cell (NLC) for the construction of the Mandra-Chakwal and Sohawa-Chakwal roads – 64 and 70 km respectively – in Ashraf’s Gujjar Khan constituency NA-51.

The case was earlier also referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the chief election commissioner.

During the hearing, Ashraf’s counsel, Wasim Sajjad, argued that the IHC had cancelled the contract for construction work of the two roads without even hearing Ashraf.

He added that tender notices have not been issued and work on the project has not been initiated yet. The counsel assured the court that the construction work would be enacted according to the rules set by the law.

Sajjad also pleaded that the matter should not be referred to NAB and the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Justice Anwar Kasi asked whether NLC is a government organization or a commercial entity. Wasim Sajjad replied that the NLC is a government agency operating under the Ministry of Finance.

It may be recalled that earlier the Supreme Court, taking notice of the contracts worth Rs 5 billion for development schemes in former prime minister’s Raja Pervez Ashraf’s constituency gave orders to cancel it.