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Court again reserves verdict on Babar Awan’s acquittal plea in Nandipur reference

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad once again reserved the verdict on acquittal plea filed by former law minister Dr Babar Awan in Nandipur Power Project case on Wednesday, ARY News reported.

Now the court will announce the verdict on the plea in the reference regarding delay in Nandipur Power Project on February 25, the court said.

Accountability court judge Arshad Malik heard the case over the acquittal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Babar Awan.

The judge said he would not announce the verdict over the acquittal plea for now and first review the record.

He said it was an established truth that the Nandipur project was delayed, only this had to be established whether this delay was caused because of the former law minister or not.

Malik also asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as to what will happen to rest of the suspects if Babar Awan was acquitted.

The NAB prosecutor responded that others would also want the same treatment.

Earlier, the court had reserved the verdict of Nandipur Power Project case on Monday.

Judge Arshad Malik had made his decision after hearing arguments of Dr Babar Awan, the National Accountability Bureau prosecutor and former prime minister Raja Parvez Ashraf’s counsel.

Read More: Court to hear Babar Awan’s acquittal plea in Nandipur reference today

During hearing, Dr Awan informed the court that he was not the law minister when two summaries had been sent to the Ministry of Law. “The new law minister did not even grant an approval after I left. Approvals are the law secretary’s responsibility and not the minister’s.”

He accepted that the Nandipur project was not completed but alleged that a corruption reference was initiated against him selectively.

Relaying his arguments to the court, the NAB prosecutor informed that the Rehmat Hussain Jafri commission’s report is present. “The law minister did issue one form that was required. The entire blame is on the incompetency level of the law ministry during Dr Awan’s tenure.”

Upon hearing this, Judge Malik had remarked that this is such a small issue.

Presenting his arguments before the court, the counsel for former PM Ashraf had said, “Before a charge sheet is filed, all the convicts are supposed to provide all the relevant documents.”

His lawyer further added that he had wanted to present some reports to the court before a decision pertaining to the case is made.

Hearing had been adjourned till February 20 after Judge Malik reserved the verdict.

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