Contempt of court case: GB court releases Fawad Hassan Fawad

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ISLAMABAD: The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Supreme Appellate Court has released former principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad in a contempt of court case. The GB court judge has released him after his apology.

During the hearing of the case related to GB Order 2018, Fawad pleaded that since he was the principal secretary to prime minister, it was his job to forward a summary moved by a committee formed by the prime minister. He said that he had nothing to do with what Sartaj Aziz-led committee which had proposed a reform in GB.

He apologised for not appearing before the court in the case earlier. The court later accepted his apology and released him from the contempt of court case. Fawad spent at least eight hours at the Gilgit court and later he was shifted to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) police station. NAB officials were making arrangements to shift him back to Islamabad.

An accountability court on Tuesday granted transit remand of senior bureaucrat Fawad Hassan Fawad, accused in various corruption cases and presently in NAB custody, for a day.

The superior court in GB has recently suspended the GB Order 2018 while restoring the GB Self Governance Order 2009. Notices of contempt of courts were issued by the court to Fawad, Ministry of Law secretary and Ministry of Kashmir Affairs secretary for not appearing before the court last month.

On July 5, NAB produced the top civil servant before an accountability court. The anti-graft bureau’s prosecutor apprised the court of the charges against Fawad.

He said that the government officer had misused his authority and awarded the contract to Casa Developers in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme. He further said that the accused had caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer in various scams.

Moreover, NAB accused Fawad of burying the file of the inquiry committee. The accountability court then remanded Fawad in NAB’s custody till Wednesday. According to NAB officials, Fawad wrongfully awarded the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme’s contract to ‘favourites’, illegally ordered the shifting of nine CNG stations and also worked in a private bank from 2005 to 2006 without official permission.

Moreover, while being the provincial health secretary, Fawad acquired six mobile health units which were purchased at a higher-than-market rate, a NAB spokesperson said.

Fawad has served as former premier Nawaz Sharif’s principal secretary and is considered close to him.

He was removed from the post of principal secretary on June 1 this year and appointed as the director general of Civil Services Academy, Lahore. The accused bureaucrat was also being probed by NAB for possession of assets beyond known sources of income.

According to NAB, the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled Chaudhry Latif and Sons. However, NAB said that the then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs14 billion contract to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by former railways minister Saad Rafique.

Fawad, who was the implementation secretary to the chief minister Punjab at the time, leveled charges of wrongdoings against Chaudhry Latif and Sons in order for the contract to be awarded to Casa Developers. Shehbaz has already appeared before NAB in the case while former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) chairman Ahad Cheema is on judicial remand after having been arrested over the case.