21 August, 2014 / Shawwal 24, 1435

ISLAMABAD, March 7: The Supreme Court ordered the foreign secretary on Thursday to take steps for extradition from the United Arab Emirates of Tauqeer Sadiq, former chief of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

A bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by an additional secretary of the foreign ministry.

The secretary was ordered to submit his report before March 11, detailing reasons for the deficiencies in documents required for the extradition.

The bench was hearing a case about non-implementation of its verdict of May 25, 2011, in which it had declared appointment of the former Ogra chief as illegal and given findings against him for causing losses of Rs82 billion to the national exchequer.

On a point raised by Khawaja Haris, an amicus curiae (friend of the court), about lukewarm response of the accountability court concerned, the bench asked it to submit record of the arrest warrant issued for Mr Sadiq.

The bench said in its order that it was surprised that the National Accountability Bureau did not have relevant information about extradition laws.

NAB Prosecutor General Karim Khan Agha said the country concerned had been requested for help.

Justice Khawaja observed that NAB had not taken any action against those who had been, prima facie, involved in the scam.

He said a complaint could have been lodged against the persons responsible for obstruction of justice.

Mr Agha said an inquiry in this regard had been ordered by the NAB chairman and an impartial person deputed to dig out facts about the delay in the extradition.

Justice Khawaja said a year and three months had lapsed since the verdict.

“We are here just to find out the legal provisions which can be applicable against the responsible. We are not frustrated but want to proceed in accordance with legal provisions,” he added.

Mr Agha said a NAB team would be sent to follow proceedings in Dubai and obtain information relating to the extradition.

Justice Khawaja said the hopes pinned on NAB had not been fulfilled.

Khawaja Haris informed the bench that the required procedure for extradition of the accused had not been followed.

He said the authorities in Dubai had been informed through the Interpol team from Islamabad that Mr Sadiq and Shahrukh Jatoi were wanted and this ambiguity had led to complication of the issue.

He said no representative of the state of Pakistan or NAB had been associated with the deportation issue.

Justice Khawaja said a directive to seek help of a counsel in Dubai had also been ignored.

He said those responsible would have to face due process and fair trial under Article 10A of the Constitution.

He said the NAB authorities had not filed any reference against the accused named in its report.

“The banking fraud is intolerable and the issue will have serious and far-reaching consequences,” he observed.

Khawaja Haris said the option for plea bargain was misused and NAB had given a clean chit to accused who were liable for disqualification.—APP

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