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Apex Court extends stay order against PHC ruling over BRT project

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

05th May, 2020. 12:13 pm
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The Supreme Court (SC) Apex Court extended stay order against the Peshawar High Court’s ruling over Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar project.

According to details, PHC  verdict was challenged by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA). During the hearing, Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal said the government should respond to the reservations raised by the applicant over the plea challenging the verdict of the PHC.

The government is custodian of the tax payers money, Justice Bandiyal remarked and added that it looks like the provincial government is moving one step forward and two steps back on the mega project. He asked that when the project will be completed? The lawyer of the KP government said that date of the completion of the project was July 31 but the construction work on the project is suspended from last 25 days due to coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai said Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar project will be completed till March 2020. He said that the total cost of the Bus Rapid Transit Peshawar project is Rs. 34 billion.

Inquiry Against BRT

In December last year, a five-member special inquiry team of the FIA, KP, had started a probe into alleged irregularities in the Peshawar BRT project in line with the PHC’s directions.

After hearing three petitions related to the bus-transit system, a high court bench consisting of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ahmad Ali had directed the FIA on November 14, 2019, to probe the project in light of 35 points identified by it and act against delinquents if any found in the inquiry report to compiled in 45 days.

Following this, the KP government and Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) had moved the apex court against the verdict.

A high court bench headed by Justice Seth had also ordered the National Accountability Bureau on Jul 17, 2018, to conduct a proper investigation and inquiry into the BRT’s affairs. However, the provincial government and PDA had filed a petition with the Supreme Court, requesting to set aside the said order. As a Apex Court bench headed by the then chief justice, Mian Saqib Nisar, had suspended the high court’s order on Sept 4, 2018, findings of NAB’s inquiry didn’t see the light of day.

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