A two-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the case and issued notices to former law minister Babar Awan, former law secretary Masood Chishti and others party to the case before adjourning the hearing till November 7.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that according to the report submitted by Justice (R) Rehmat Hussain Jafri’s one-man commission, the delay in the installation of Rs29 billion 425MW combined cycle power plant in Nandipur (Gujranwala) and 595MW Chichoki Mallian power project had caused to the national exchequer a loss of Rs113 billion.
The petitioner, MNA Khawaja Asif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), told the court that the losses estimate mentioned in the report encompassed the past three years, and if the two years prior to that period were also accounted for, then the losses would amount to approximately Rs150 billion.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja inquired as to why these matters were not resolved in the Parliament. To this, the PML-N lawmaker replied that the matter was brought to the court as the Parliament had failed in resolving it.
Earlier in May, the Supreme Court had taken up Asif’s petition against the delay in the installation of the Nandipur power plant and Chichoki Mallian power project. The court had appointed a one-man commission of Justice (R) Rehmat Hussain Jafri to look into the factors behind the delay in the execution of contracts for the two power projects.
The commission had reported that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs113 billion because of the delay in the execution of the Nandipur and Chichoki Mallian power projects.
The Supreme Court had directed the government to fix ‘responsibility’ for the delay because the contracts were meant to tide over the rising electricity shortfall while the delay also affected the national exchequer adversely.
The bench stressed the need for finding out as to who were holding the charge during the period when the execution of the two power projects was delayed so that notices could be issued to them.
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