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SC orders NAB to probe PSM corruption within three months

SC orders NAB to probe PSM corruption within three months
ISLAMABAD: In an order penned by the Supreme Court’s Justice Tariq Pervez, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was directed to complete the investigations into the Rs 26 billion Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) embezzlement within three months, DawnNews reported.

While announcing the verdict on the PSM corruption case for the 2007-2008 duration, the Supreme Court instructed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to hand over all relevant records to the NAB.

The Supreme Court also issed a contempt of court notice to Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik for changing the investigating officer of the case without the courts prior approval.

The NAB would investigate the irregularities and mismanagement by top management officials and the former PSM chairman.

The PSM’s chief law officer Raja Owais Mehmood told DawnNews that apart from the former chairman other key suspects would also be investigated.

Earlier in March, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had reserved its judgment on the case relating to corruption in the PSM, which had suffered a whopping loss of Rs26.5 billion in 2008-09 alone.

In August 2006, nine-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, had reversed the sale of Steel Mills, saying that the privatisation process had been carried out in “indecent haste”. It had held that PSM was the most profit-making industrial concern when it was put on sale.

The court had also taken suo motu notice on an article in Dawn on Sept 11, 2009, about the firing of former PSM chairman Moeen Aftab Sheikh without issuing a show cause notice. He was fired by the Establishment Division on the advice of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat because of heavy losses suffered by the mills.

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