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Wednesday Jun 09 2021

Court to indict CM Sindh on June 30 in Nooriabad power plant reference

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah addresses a press conference. Photo: File

  • CM Sindh did not attend hearing on money laundering, fake assets and Nooriabad power plant reference held a day earlier.
  • Court orders all accused to present themselves for next hearing on June 30. 
  • The chief minister Sindh is accused of violating rules which allegedly led to embezzlement of billions in the Nooriabad power plant reference.

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday set June 30 the date to indict Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in the Nooriabad power plant reference, as per a report in The News

Shah was unable to attend a hearing of the fake accounts, Nooriabad power plant and money laundering reference held a day earlier at the court, presided over by judge Asghar Ali.

The court accepted the chief minister’s application for exemption from appearance. The NAB prosecutor told the court that the co-accused Muhammad Ali is a fugitive and is out of the country. The court, in reaction, declared Muhammad Ali an absconder and issued his warrants.

The judge ordered Ali's name to be placed on the no-fly list, ordering all accused in the case to present themselves before the court on June 30. He adjourned proceedings then. 

He then announced that the court will indict the Sindh chief minister on June 30. 

What is CM Sindh accused of in the Nooriabad power plant reference?

The Nooriabad power plant reference alleges that the Sindh chief minister issued funds for power projects in Sindh, in violation of rule. The reference alleges that billions of rupees were embezzled in the Nooriabad Power Company and the Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company projects.

The Nooriabad Power Project was originally envisaged by the Sindh government in 2012 but could not materialise then due to “red-tapism and delays in regulatory approvals”. 

The project was finally launched in August 2014 under a public-private partnership at a cost of Rs13 billion. The Sindh government held 49% of its shares while a private company owned 51%.

A 95-km-long 132kV double-circuit transmission line was laid from Nooriabad to Karachi at the cost of Rs1.95 billion. Murad was adviser to the Sindh chief minister on finance and energy at the time. The NAB alleged that the procedure caused a loss of $16 million to the national exchequer.