CJP snubs NAB for delaying Nandipur scam probe

  • CJP warns former anti-graft chief of taking up case against him for delaying probe, asks if NAB is not accountable to anyone

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday reprimanded the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for delaying investigation of the Nandipur power project scandal.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Nisar, resumed hearing of the Nandipur case after it was reopened on Wednesday.

During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that the hearing for Nandipur case started in February 2017 and had been delayed by two years. He added, “The inquiry is in its final stages.”

“How many inquiries, in total, are pending with NAB?” CJP inquired. “We have to determine who is responsible for wrapping up all pending inquiries. Is NAB unaccountable for all these delays?” he added.

The CJP then called former NAB chief Qamar Zaman Chaudhry in court to explain the delay in inquiries. “Let us take up a case against the former NAB chairman for the delay,” he said.

“Cases are shelved after they are opened but this cannot continue. An inquiry should be taken up only if it has substantial weight, otherwise, people cannot be left hanging,” the CJP said.

When former NAB chief appeared in court, the CJP reprimanded him, saying, “You have given many concessions during your time. With so many cases left pending [during your tenure], let us order an inquiry against you.”

The SC then summoned a list of all cases pending with the bureau during Chaudhry’s tenure as the NAB chief.

Established in 2005 and expected to generate 525 megawatts of electricity, the estimated cost of the project increased to Rs58 billion from Rs22 billion because of delays.