Babar Awan withdraws his acquittal plea in Nandipur Power project case

Nandipur case

ISLAMABAD: Former law minister Babar Awan on Friday withdrawn his acquittal plea in Nandipur Power Project case.
The accountability court decided to frame charges in the reference against Awan on Monday.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor opposed Babar Awan’s request for withdrawal of his petition.
The judge granted the plea and announced to indict the former law minister in the case.
The accountability court had to announce its verdict reserved on acquittal plea of the former minister in a reference about Rs. 27 billion loss to the national exchequer due to delay in the completion of the power project.
In an earlier hearing Judge Arshad Malik had said that he would not announce the verdict over the acquittal plea before review of the record.
He said it was an established truth that the Nandipur project was delayed, only this had to be established whether this delay was caused because of the former law minister or not.
He also asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as to what will happen to rest of the accused if Babar Awan will be acquitted.
The NAB prosecutor responded that others would also want the same treatment.
During the case hearing, Awan informed the court that he was not the law minister when two summaries had been sent to the Ministry of Law. “The new law minister did not even grant an approval after I left. Approvals are the law secretary’s responsibility and not the minister’s.”
He conceded that the Nandipur project was not completed in time but claimed that a corruption reference was initiated against him selectively.
The NAB prosecutor in his arguments referred the Rehmat Hussain Jafri commission’s report. “The law minister did issue one form that was required. The entire blame is on the incompetency of the law ministry during Babar Awan’s tenure.”
Presenting his arguments before the court, the counsel for former PM Pervaiz Ashraf had said, “Before a charge sheet is filed, all the accused are supposed to provide the relevant documents.”
His lawyer further added that he had wanted to present some reports to the court before a decision to the case is made.

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