ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) would file a reference against the accused which include former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in the Rs22 billion Rental Power Projects (RPPs) scam after May 11 polls.
“As per directives of the Supreme Court we have to file the reference against the accused in the RPP scam before May 27, but we will file it soon after the polls,” a senior National Accountability Bureau officer who did not want to be named said on Monday.
The official said the reference was being filed against 16 people including Raja Pervez Ashraf.
National Accountability Bureau Chairman retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari earlier appeared to be reluctant to approve the filing of the reference.
When contacted, NAB spokesman Ramzan Sajid said that because of the complex nature of the case the process required a thorough investigation to determine the prosecutable evidence.
Therefore, he said, the chairman had given four weeks to investigators to finalise the whole process in all cases of the RPPs scam. NAB would file reference in the accountability court if credible evidence is found against any of the accused.
The Supreme Court directed the National Accountability Bureau on Jan 11 to arrest the people involved in the RPPs scam, including Mr Ashraf who was prime minister at that time.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked NAB to fix criminal liability and submit a report before the court.
Mr Ashraf, three former federal ministers and four former secretaries may face charges in the case.
Mr Ashraf has been accused of having received kickbacks and commission in the Rental Power Projects’ deal when he was federal minister for water and power in 2008.
The bureau considers Mr Ashraf as one of the main accused and it has requested the interior ministry twice to put his name on the Exist Control List but the ministry did not entertain the request.
In the Rental Power Projects’ scam nine firms were accused of receiving more than Rs22 billion as mobilisation advance from the government to commission the projects, but most of them did not set up their plants and a few installed them after inordinate delay. Of the total recoverable amount of Rs22 billion, NAB has so far recovered Rs5 billion, in addition to Rs8 billion that had been paid by the firms on the directives of the Supreme Court.