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Supreme Court stops NAB, FIA from investigating Peshawar BRT

Peshawar High Court's verdict term null and void

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Feb 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Supreme Court stops NAB, FIA from investigating Peshawar BRT

A bus drives along the newly-built corridor of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a rapid bus transit system running along an east-west corridor, during a test-run in Peshawar on August 5, 2020. Photo: AFP

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The Supreme Court has stopped Pakistan's accountability bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency from investigating the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project. The court heard two petitions against the project. One was against the Peshawar High Court's 2018 judgement in which it ordered NAB to investigate the "shady and shaky" BRT system in the city. In its order, the judges said they feel it is “appropriate to refer the matter to the NAB authorities” to conduct a proper investigation. That verdict has now been declared null and void. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had challenged the verdict. Its appeal has been approved. Related: AGP’s report unearths irregularities of Rs2.77bn in Peshawar’s BRT project The court said that the high court's judgement was based on speculation. The second petition was filed against FIA investigation into the project. The court has extended its orders to stop FIA's investigation and told the KP government to submit a written reply in the case. The Peshawar BRT was inaugurated after multiple delays by Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 14, 2020. He called it “the highest level metro project of the country”. At least 128 buses ply the 27-kilometre BRT track in Peshawar. They stop at 30 stations across the city. On September 16, 2020 the service was suspended temporarily after a fourth metro bus caught fire. Follow SAMAA English on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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The Supreme Court has stopped Pakistan’s accountability bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency from investigating the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project.

The court heard two petitions against the project.

One was against the Peshawar High Court’s 2018 judgement in which it ordered NAB to investigate the “shady and shaky” BRT system in the city. In its order, the judges said they feel it is “appropriate to refer the matter to the NAB authorities” to conduct a proper investigation. That verdict has now been declared null and void.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had challenged the verdict. Its appeal has been approved.

Related: AGP’s report unearths irregularities of Rs2.77bn in Peshawar’s BRT project

The court said that the high court’s judgement was based on speculation.

The second petition was filed against FIA investigation into the project. The court has extended its orders to stop FIA’s investigation and told the KP government to submit a written reply in the case.

The Peshawar BRT was inaugurated after multiple delays by Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 14, 2020. He called it “the highest level metro project of the country”. At least 128 buses ply the 27-kilometre BRT track in Peshawar. They stop at 30 stations across the city.

On September 16, 2020 the service was suspended temporarily after a fourth metro bus caught fire.

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