SC bars FIA from probing BRT

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declared Peshawar High Court’s verdict to probe BRT Peshawar project, null and void.
The verdict of the PHC was challenged by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA).
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal heard the case. At the outset of the hearing, the court asked that when will the project be completed and what was its actual cost?
The counsel of the KP government said the project will be completed by July 31, while the work on the project started in 2018. The design of the project was also changed several times, he continued.
The SC ordered authorities concerned to present details of the project in terms of its cost and completion and set aside the Peshawar High Court verdict that ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe into alleged financial irregularities in the BRT Peshawar project. The hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period by the court after serving notices to the respondents in the case.
Last week, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai had said that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar project would be completed by the end of March this year.
Talking to media in Peshawar, the provincial information minister ruling out the propaganda of increase in the cost of the BRT Peshawar had said the total cost of BRT Peshawar project is Rs34 billion.
He challenged the critics to expose corruption in the mega project. Shaukat Yousafzai had said the civil work of the Bus Rapid Transit Peshawar project has been completed and it will be completed by the end of March this year.