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June 27, 2018

Two former officials of Saaf Pani Company remanded


June 27, 2018

LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday handed over former director Saaf Pani Company Engineer Qamarul Islam and former CEO Waseem Ajmal accused in the Saaf Pani Company corruption scam worth billions to the NAB Lahore.

The NAB officials produced both the accused persons in the court amid tight security as heavy contingents of the police had cordoned off the court premises.

The bureau had arrested Qamarul Islam Raja, who is a PML-N ticket-holder from NA-59 Rawalpindi-III and contesting against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, on the charges of forging documents and awarding contracts of 84 water filtration plants at exorbitant rates and causing a huge loss to national kitty.

As the proceedings started on Tuesday, Raja’s counsel pleaded before the court that the NAB had arrested his client without any concrete evidence. He claimed that not a single complaint was registered against his client in the bureau. Raja’s counsel said that his client was contesting the upcoming polls against Ch Nisar. The counsel alleged that NAB and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) hashatched a conspiracy against his client and politically victimising him. He implored the court to give relief to his client.

Former CEO Saaf Pani Company Waseem Ajmal while pleading his case claimed that he was made an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) after he refused to follow the instructions of the provincial chief minister. He said that he had fully cooperated with NAB and provided all the documents. He claimed that he was removed from his position for awarding the contract on merit.

On the other hand, the NAB’s prosecutor informed the court that Raja awarded contracts of 84 water filtration plants on exorbitant rates. He said that Raja being member of procurement committee of Punjab Saaf Pani Company (South) awarded contracts on excessive rates to a company KSB Pumps. The prosecutor said the accused altered the contract documents after getting the same approved from the board of governors.

The prosecutor said that accused Waseem Ajmal forged documents and issued payments without taking approval from board of directors. The accused being Chief Executive Officer approved payment of Rs24.7 million to the management of Ali and Fatima Developers Private Limited in lieu of office rents for Saaf Pani Company without the requisite approval of BOD despite the fact that the possession has not been taken till date, the prosecutor added.

The prosecutor implored the court to grant physical remand of both the accused persons for further investigation. The court after hearing arguments of the bureau’s counsel granted physical remand of both the accused persons for 14 days. It is pertinent to mention that Ali and Fatima Developers is owned by Ali Imran Yousaf, son-in-law of former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

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