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Ex-DG social welfare seeks bail in corruption case

Ex-DG social welfare seeks bail in corruption case

ISLAMABAD: The principal accused in the Tawana Pakistan Project (TPP) corruption case on Tuesday applied for the post-arrest bail in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in February this year arrested Irfanullah Khan, a former director general of the ministry of social welfare, who had been an absconder in the case for four years. Khan along with other senior government officers is allegedly involved in corrupt practices in the award of a food supply contract to a company in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules 2004, causing a loss of Rs164.7 million to the national exchequer.

The Rs3.6 billion TPP was launched by the now devolved ministry of social welfare after the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved it in September 2002. The project was aimed to address the nutrition needs of girls between the ages of 5 and 12 years in high poverty areas of the country.

Under the project, nutrient milk was to be provided to schools in the less-developed areas. During an audit of 23 schools in the selected districts, about 73 per cent of the schoolteachers revealed that the milk supplied to the schools was unhygienic and turned sour even before its expiry.

An investigation into the scam was initiated in 2009 after receiving a letter from the Prime Minister Inspection Commission. The investigation unearthed a corruption of up to Rs167 million in the project.

After the preliminary hearing of the bail application, a division bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi and Justice Amir Farooq, issued a notice to NAB with the direction to submit comments in a fortnight.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2015

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