The court here subsequently adjourned the case against Ashraf, a senior leader of the Opposition Pakistan People's Party, till December 2. The charges date back to his tenure as Power Minister.

Officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) handed over copies of the cases filed against Ashraf during the hearing.

NAB had filed a 263-page supplementary chargesheet against Ashraf on November 6.

Late last month, NAB chief Qamar Zaman Chaudhry had given his approval for filing the cases against Ashraf. Nine firms have been accused of receiving Rs 22 billion as an advance from the government to commission the power projects but most of them did not set up plants and a few installed them after an inordinate delay.

Ashraf has been accused of receiving kickbacks and commissions. In March 2012, the apex court had ruled that contracts for the power projects were non-transparent and ordered that they should be rescinded.

The scam had earned Ashraf the nickname of "Raja Rental". A businessman turned politician, he served as premier from June 2012 till March this year. Prior to his elevation, Ashraf served as Power Minister from March 2008 to February 2011.

(Agencies)

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