ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Wednesday rejected the petition of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervez Ashraf in a Nandipur power project reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
It may be recalled that the accountability court judge Mohammad Arshad Malik acquitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan and former secretary of law Justice R Riaz Kayani in the case.
The judge later retired from court due to a video scandal.
Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Azam Khan rejected petitions filed by Raja Pervez Ashraf, former federal secretary Masood Chishti, Shahid Rafiq, as well as other law and former officials of the Ministry of Law and Water and Power.
In this regard, the defense argued that applicants could not be prosecuted for procedural deficiencies in light of the presidential ordinance regarding NAB's action against the bureaucracy, but this position was rejected by the court.
Summing up the arguments, the defense told the court that the prosecution could not identify any financial gain in this regard.
He said the prosecution's case was that government officials did not complete the formal proceedings on time.
He said that the presidential ordinance enforced by NAB law makes it clear that misuse of powers cannot be declared a crime unless there is concrete evidence of financial gain.
The counsel for the petitioners pointed out that the prosecution presented all the records related to the case in nine volumes while the statements of key witnesses of the Ministry of Energy, Cabinet Division and Law Ministry were also recorded.
He said there was no evidence that government officials were negligent at the start of the Nandipur project.
It is to be noted that on September 5, 2018, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a reference against seven politicians and officials saying that the Nandipur Power Project was delayed by 2 years a month and 15 days which led to the National Treasury. 27 billion 30 crores were lost.
According to the reference, the scheme is in the Gujranwala district which could not be completed and operated on time as the accused failed to issue a legal opinion.
In addition, the accountability court rejected the petition filed by former NAB officials.
Former NAB officials, including Director General Khurshid Anwar Bhandar, Colonel (r) Morning Sadiq and investigating officer Mirza Shafiq face charges of filing a lawsuit against a state agency rather than a real beneficiary in a land fraud case.