SC halts FIA probe into Peshawar BRT for third time


Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan stopped the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from probing the alleged irregularities in the Peshawar BRT project on Wednesday, as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government asked the matter be adjourned.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the appeals filed by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well and the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA). 

The appeals challenged the order, passed by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directing the FIA to conduct an inquiry into the different aspects of the Peshawar BRT project.

The court maintained its interim order for the third time, halting the investigation being conducted by the FIA in the alleged irregularities in the project.

Earlier, on February 3, the court passed an interim order, restraining the FIA from conducting the investigation and later on March 17, the court maintained its interim order.

The court again extended its interim order after the KP government had sought an adjournment in the matter which the court accepted and postponed the hearing.

KP Additional Advocate General submitted before the court that as the lead counsel is not present hence the case be adjourned, adding that in pursuance of the court’s last order, details pertaining to the project have been filed submitted.

Justice Bandial, however, observed that the court did not want to keep the appeal delayed for a long time. The bench observed that it would look into many aspects of the project in detail and will examine its transparency as well as the process under which the contract for its construction was awarded.

Justice Bandial observed that the court will also examine whether there is any conflict of interest in the project or not, adding that the SC will also check whether the provincial government has spent billions of rupees on incomplete projects. 

Justice Bandial questioned whether the project was launched without due preparations, adding that frequent changes were made in the design of the project on public money. The judge said that the court will also examine the delay in the completion of the project as well. 

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for date-in-office.

Originally published in

The News

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