The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday ordered a special audit of the expenses incurred on development projects sanctioned by former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf using discretionary funds.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, resumed the hearing in the case pertaining to sanctioning of development funds worth billions of rupees by former premier Ashraf.

The court also issued notices to  the former prime minister’s principal secretary, federal finance secretary, Sui Northern Gas Corporation, Sui Southern Gas Corporation, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and other institutions seeking relevant records of expenses incurred from the prime minister’s discretionary funds.

The bench accepted Justice (retd) Tariq Mahmood’s request to become a party to the case and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Moreover, Raja Pervez Ashraf submitted an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court over a contempt notice issued to him by the apex court in the rental power projects case.

Wasim Sajjad, counsel for Ashraf, submitted an unconditional apology letter in the Supreme Court and also requested the bench hearing the case to allow the withdrawal of a previous letter submitted by his client to Chief Justice Iftikhar.

Earlier in March, the Supreme Court  had issued a contempt notice to Ashraf, for trying to influence it in the rental power projects case by writing a letter to the chief justice asking him to constitute a commission to investigate the matter.

At the time, the chief justice had remarked that Ashraf had attempted to approach the court for a separate commission which was tantamount to seeking “favours from the court without the completion of the due process”.

The court had also observed that writing a letter in his official capacity also amounted to influencing the court.