Islamabad High Court (IHC) has disapproved the appeals by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against acquittal of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan in the Nandipur power plant corruption reference.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, upheld the acquittal and rejected the appeals challenging accountability court’s June 25, 2019 verdict in the case.

Moreover, the NAB had approached the Islamabad High Court to challenge the acquittal of ex-law minister Dr Babar Awan.

The Nandipur power project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee on Dec 27, 2007, at a cost of $329 million.

After the approval, the contract was signed on Jan 28, 2008, between the Northern Power Generation Company Limited and the Dong Fang Electric Corporation, China. Two consortiums — Coface for 68.967m euros and Sinosure for $150.151m - were set up for financing the project.

According to the sources, the water and power ministry sought legal opinion on the project from the law ministry in accordance with the schedule of the agreement in July 2009, but the accused repeatedly refused to do so.

The water and power ministry also failed to take any concrete steps to resolve the issue and the matter remained pending.

As per NAB, the legal opinion was issued in November 2011 after Mr Awan was replaced as the law minister.

Furthermore, the anti-graft watchdog claimed that the delay in functioning of the project had caused a loss of Rs27.3 billion to the national exchequer.