ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday, while expressing annoyance over National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s failure to arrest the persons involved in the awarding the Rental Power Plants (RPPs) contracts and recover the public money, issued show-cause notices to its chairman and seven other officers.
NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari and officers were ordered to appear before the court and explain why the contempt proceedings may not be initiated against them for non-implementing the judgment.
“The reply to the show-cause notice shall be submitted within seven days. The case shall be relisted on 25th September, 2012,” a two-page order said.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who is heading a three-member-bench, said on March 30, a detailed judgment was passed in the RPPs case wherein alleged corruption in the power plants contracts was highlighted in different paras.
In paragraphs 25 and 27 as well as in the concluding paragraph of the judgment, corruption and corrupt practices criminal actions on the part of the persons, who had taken the benefits, were specifically mentioned, he added. In the detailed judgment, the court, while declaring all RPPs illegal, had ordered their immediate shut down and directed the NAB chairman to proceed against the ministers for water and power [including Raja Pervaiz Ashraf] holding charge in 2006 and onward and from 2008 to onward, during whose tenure the RPPs were approved/set up and the minister as well as secretary finance holding the charge when the down payment was increased from 7 per cent to 14 per cent and submit fortnightly progress report to Registrar for perusal in chambers.
Commenting on the slow progress in implementation of SC judgment, the chief justice said the NAB chairman would be held responsible if the officers causing delay in the implementation of the court judgment managed to go abroad or take any other evasive measures.
The chief justice said, “In fact, the judgment itself speaks about the misappropriation made by the concerned authorities. Despite specific directions for implementing the judgment in letter and spirit, the NAB authorities had intentionally avoided to implement the same which is a clear violation of directions/observations of this court and thereby prima facie committed contempt of court as envisaged under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.”
During the course of hearing, NAB Additional Deputy Prosecutor General Fauzi Kazmi submitted a report pertaining to implementation of court’s order in the case and reiterated that no arrests had been made yet because NAB was “plea bargaining” with the accused.
Upon the query by the bench, Kazmi replied that Muhammad Rafi, Amir Shahid, Asghar Khan and presently Kamran Faisal were the probing officers in the case whereas Raz Khan and Zahir Shah had also been supervising the matter. Col DG Shahzad Anwar Bhatti was heading the team, he added.
Later, the hearing was adjourned till September 25.