ISLAMABAD  - The Supreme Court on Monday inquired from Prosecutor General NAB to inform why investigation into corruption in purchase of iron scrap from Pakistan Railways has not been completed after the passage of two years.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the bail application of a Lahore based businessman in Rs75 million iron scrap deal.

Jawad Ahmed, Director Pakistan Steel Traders, is accused of illegally getting accredited Rs75 million amount of Pakistan Railways to his account. This money was to be paid back by Pakistan Steel Mills to Pakistan Railways but was accredited in Jawad’s account in 2010. He though received Rs75 million but only supplied material worth Rs29 million to Railways.

According to details, the alleged beneficiaries of this Rs75 million also include three senior officers and a former federal minister for Pakistan Railways. Two years ago the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested the businessman and since that time he has been in the jail.

The bench inquired from Deputy Prosecutor General (DPG) Dil Muhammad Alizai why should the NAB be not held accountable in delaying the investigation of a person languishing in jail. The bench further questioned whether before NAB freedom of person has any importance?

Expressing annoyance over not completing the investigation, Justice Saqib asked why it is taking so long to complete the inquiry. “Should we summon the NAB chairman about this case,” the judge inquired from the DPG.

Ruman Zaheer, former investigator of corruption in purchase of iron scrap, informed the bench that on 13th September 2013 he was ordered to investigate the matter, but in December it was taken back from him.

Justice Saqib asked the DPG to explain why after two years the investigation could not be completed. However, Najam Abbas, who is presently investigating the case, told that on 1st Feb this year a reference was sent to NAB chairman. Upon that Justice Saqib remarked then the NAB chairman should be summoned to apprise why the NAB took so much time to complete the investigation.

The hearing was adjourned till 18th February.