The Rental Power Plants (RPPs) scam has taken a new turn as Shahid Rafi, former secretary water and power as well as a key suspect, has become an approver in the case. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed 12 references relating to the RPPs in the Accountability Court. Former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is the principal accused in the scam. Shahid Rafi is considered a key suspect regarding corruption and corrupt practices and misuse of authority in award of RPPs contract to the M/s Karkey.
While hearing the case, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Arshad approved the application of Rafi, seeking to become approver. Rafi had also filed an application before NAB chairman which was approved. The NAB arrested Rafi on April 19 in the case pertaining to the RPPs. He is accused of committing corruption in the award of a contract to a power producing company.
A reference had already been filed against Rafi for misuse of authority and committing corruption in initiating the Guddu RPP without approval of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet.
Rafi had allegedly awarded the $72 million contract to a company in violation of public procurement rules and the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Act, despite the fact that the company had not even submitted a feasibility of the project.
Ashraf has been accused of having received kickbacks and commission in the RPPs deal when he was federal minister for water and power in 2008. In the RPPs scam, nine firms were accused of receiving more than Rs 22 billion as mobilisation advance from the government to commission the projects, but most of them did not set up their plants and a few which installed some plants did so after an inordinate delay.
Earlier, the NAB officials produced Rafi and Liaq Ahmed Sheikh before the court after completion of their physical remand. The NAB prosecutor told the court that Rafi revealed before the investigation that he received AED 1 million of Raja Babar Ali Zulqarnain through his daughter Rabia Liaq. He requested the court to extend physical remand of accused persons.
Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Laiq, objected to the NAB's request for extension in physical remand of his client. He said his client has nothing to do with the case. The court after hearing the arguments of the both parties granted physical remand of Laiq to the NAB till May 08.