Accountability court I Judge Muhammad Bashir heard the Nandipur Power Project reference.
During the hearing, the court decided to indict seven accused, including Ashraf and Awan.
Fixing October 24 as the date for indictment, the court directed the accused to make sure they appear for the hearing.
Earlier during the hearing, Ashraf’s counsel submitted a plea for his permanent exemption. The court issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the former premier’s request.
On September 4, NAB had filed a corruption reference against former minister for law and justice Babar Awan regarding a delay in Nandipur Project.
The former federal minister for water and power, Ashraf, along with other officers of the ministry, also faces a corruption reference for the delay in the project.
The corruption references were filed after a commission, constituted at the behest of the Supreme Court, held officers of the Ministry of Law and Justice responsible for the delay.
The Nandipur Power Project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in December 2007 at a cost of 329 million dollars. After approval, the contract was signed in January 2008, between Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation (DEC), China and two consortiums — COFACE for 68.967 million euros and SINOSURE for 150.151 million dollars.
In 2008, the Ministry of Water and Power approached the Ministry of Law to issue a legal opinion but accused in connivance with each other and with malafide intentions, the latter repeatedly refused to issue on flimsy grounds.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Water and Power also failed to take any concrete measures to resolve the issue and the matter remained pending.
The legal opinion was issued in November 2011; the delay caused a loss of 27 billion rupees.