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January 13, 2021

IHC upholds Babar Awan’s acquittal in Nandipur case

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January 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday upheld acquittal of Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan and retired Justice Riaz Kiani in the Nandipur power plant corruption reference.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, dismissed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeals challenging an accountability court’s June 25, 2019 verdict of acquitting them in the case, a private news channel reported.

The bench set aside the trial court’s verdict that dismissed an acquittal plea of former law secretary Masood Chishti, who is named as accused in the case, and exonerated him from all charges.

The court said it is the responsibility of the NAB to end an impression of fear in bureaucracy. It said bureaucrat is also human and his every mistake cannot be construed as corruption.

On June 25, 2019, the then accountability judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had acquitted Babar Awan and Kiani while dismissed acquittal pleas of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and other accused in the case.

Babar Awan and others were indicted in the case in March 2019. The charges against them included “causing delay in according approval to the project”, which caused losses worth billions of rupees to the national exchequer. All of the accused had pleaded not guilty.