CJP ‘disappointed’ with NAB’s progress in Saaf Pani probe

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–Chief Justice Nisar orders all govt departments to ‘cooperate’ with anti-graft watchdog in investigation

–Top judge says recovered ‘stolen money’ will be used to construct Diamir-Bhasha dam

 

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday said that the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) performance in the Saaf Pani corruption case has been very ‘disappointing’.

The CJP was heading a three-judge bench at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry, where he heard the suo moto case. Nisar stated that he was not satisfied with the accountability watchdog’s progress in the case.

“NAB’s performance in the Saaf Pani case has been disappointing,” the chief justice said.

The apex court had asked NAB to provide a detailed inquiry report, which it failed to do so. Expressing anger over this, Justice Nisar said, “Apprise the NAB chairman of the court’s concerns.”

Furthermore, a lack of cooperation was also addressed by the CJP, as he ordered the “accountability body is provided with a complete list of employees along with those who went on deputation”.

Justice Nisar also inquired about the assets owned by the CEOs and other company officials, to which the NAB prosecutor responded that “Inquiry into the assets of six CEOs has been completed.”

“The Punjab government submitted the record of company officials on July 22 owing to which there was a delay in the inquiry,” the NAB prosecutor added.

He further said that “a probe could not be conducted into the assets of all company officials due to a lack of cooperation from the establishment division”.

Following this, the apex court directed the Punjab chief secretary and secretary establishment to cooperate with NAB. Furthermore, Justice Nisar urged to collect the “stolen money” and use it to “build Diamer-Bhasha dam”.

Earlier, on April 7 the CJP directed the Punjab Saaf Pani Company chief executive officer (CEO) and the provincial government to submit the complete record, including salaries, perks and privileges of the entire staff and vehicles provided to them to perform their duties.

The chief justice had expressed serious concern over the exorbitant salary and benefits packages of the company’s officials and the money being paid to foreign consultants for water projects.

The Punjab government had established Saaf Pani Company to conceive, plan, design, execute and manage projects for the provision of safe drinking water, in terms of both access and quality, to the communities living in unserved and underserved areas i.e. rural and peri-urban areas of the province.