SC seeks reply over NAB’s failure to arrest former chairman Ogra

General Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed dismay over the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its failure to arrest former chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqir Sadiq, allegedly involved in a Rs82-billion corruption scam, and sought written reply from the bureau till December 19.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain also issued notices to the Inspector General of Punjab police as well as Motorway police to appear before it on next hearing and explain the matter to their extent.

At the onset of hearing, an investigating officer of NAB contended before the court that Motorway police did not cooperate with him to apprehend Tauqir Sadiq, who had travelled via motorway a few months ago. He also told the court that he and NAB chairman were receiving threats. He said attempts were also being made to register a bogus FIR against him as well as Bureau’s chairman.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja said the authorities should apprehend the culprits, who were threatening them. He said under the NAB law the culprits, who were threatening could be sentenced up to ten years in prison. He said when the culprits will be left scot free and allowed to escape, they will ultimately hurl threats.

The investigating officer further apprised the court that NAB had sought assistance from Islamabad and Punjab Police along as well as counter terrorism agencies to arrest Tauqir Sadiq. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain then noted that the accused Tauqir Sadiq must have been hiding at the residence of a high profile official.

According to media reports, the high profile fugitive of law and Ogra’s former chairman Tauqir Sadiq has escaped to Dubai in early October, 2012 with the alleged support of some high profile officials to avoid probe and arrest. He had fled after the Supreme Court had ordered NAB and other authorities to probe the Ogra scam.

Tauqir Sadiq was appointed as Ogra’s chairman by former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. However on Nov 25, 2011, the Supreme Court had declared his appointment as illegal and had ordered NAB to investigate corruption cases against him and submit its findings within 45 days.

According to NAB’s investigation, the former chairman Ogra had converted the operating income of two public utilities – the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Sui Southern Gas Company – into non-operating income, resulting in a Rs38 billion additional burden on consumers and eroding the gas development surcharge.