PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit reports of the investigation into Malam Jabba, Billion Tree Tsunami, Ihtisab Commission and Bank of Khyber corruption cases.

The PHC’s two-judge bench comprising Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Attique Shah directed the NAB prosecutor to submit reports on the progress in the investigation till next hearing. “What progress has the NAB made so far in the Malma Jabba, Billion Tree Tsunami, Ihtisab Commission and Bank corruption cases,” Justice Attique Shah asked the Nab prosecutor to explain. He responded that the national accountability bureau is investigating all the corruption cases.

However, the lawyer for the petitioner, Ali Gohar Durrani argued the ruling party’s politicians and ministers are involved in corruption in these projects, therefore NAB is avoiding to conduct the investigation and arrest the accused. Durrani added that the NAB officials are violating the NAB ordinance by not taking action against the accused in the mega corruption case in the province. The lawyer pleaded that the court to take legal action against NAB officers for not conducting a proper investigation the corruption cases. 

The Malam Jabba scandal surfaced on January 7, 2018. The National Accountability Bureau, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, declared the contract of the Malam Jabba Resort Project as a “mega fraud” to grab costly land of the Forest Department and had sent the case to the NAB Headquarters. NAB had said that contract was awarded Samsons Group of Companies in violation of rules and regulations, for which even the due date for submitting tenders was extended. It was reported that neither feasibility nor technical, financial and prequalification criteria were set for the project.

The NAB has also initiated an inquiry against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s flagship Billion Tree Tsunami Project and as per its initial inquiry, the project has caused a loss of over Rs462 million to the national exchequer. On March 26, 2019, NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal had authorized the inquiry into the Billion Tree Tsunami Project, however, so far the investigation could not be finalized.  Similarly, the NAB KP chapter has completed an investigation into the illegal appointment of 103 officials to Bank of Khyber in April 2019 but so far no action has been taken against the accused so far.

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