ISLAMABAD: During Wednesday’s hearing of the case pertaining to the arrest orders against former chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqir Sadiq, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that law enforcement agencies did not appear to be aware of the whereabouts of the accused, adding that how could the case be heard properly if the ‘agencies’ were ‘acting in complicity’ with Sadiq, DawnNews reported.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Khawaja, was hearing the case.
Sadiq and three other officials of Ogra – Mansoor Ali Muzaffar, Mir Kamal Frid Bijarani Muree and Jawad Jamil – are accused of misusing authority, embezzling funds and causing Rs82 billion losses to the national exchequer by converting operating income (regular income) into non-operating income in violation of an agreement signed with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, relocating several CNG stations, making illegal appointments, etc. Sadiq is also said to be a close relative of Pakistan People’s Party’s Secretary General Jehangir Badar.
During the hearing, acting IG Punjab told the bench that Sadiq had not been arrested so far, adding that the former Ogra chief had two passports.
The acting IG moreover said that Sadiq had flown from Dubai to Dhaka. Giving details, he added that Sadiq had arrived in Dubai on Nov 28 and had traveled using a private airline.
However, no records were available on Sadiq's departure from the country, the official said.
Responding to which, Justice Khawaja said it was unusual that no record was available on the former Ogra chief.
Justice Khawaja moreover said that information could have been collected on Sadiq if the authorities had contacted the embassy in time.
He remarked that officials travelled to Khatmandu to trace Sadiq, adding that the expenses for that purpose were paid by the government.
Justice Khawaja remarked that law enforcement agencies did not appear to be aware of Sadiq's whereabouts, adding that how could the case be heard properly if the ‘agencies’ were ‘acting in complicity’ with the accused.
He added that it seemed that only the Supreme Court was interested in the matter.
Earlier on Monday, the court had asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as to what action it had taken against those who were behind Sadiq’s escape from the country.
NAB and police officials had expressed their helplessness in arresting the former Ogra chief by the Dec 31 deadline given by the court and had informed the bench hearing the case that he had escaped to Nepal.
Also on Monday, the Federal Investigation Agency had claimed that Sadiq could not escape abroad because his name was on the exit control list (ECL).
On Nov 25, 2011, the court had declared the appointment of Sadiq as Ogra chairman illegal and had ordered the NAB to investigate corruption cases against him and submit its findings within 45 days. The court had observed that five people were involved in the illegal appointment of Sadiq, including Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.