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Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the authorities to immediately arrest former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqir Sadiq and initiate proceedings against him in accordance with the country's laws, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the case pertaining to Ogra’s malpractices.

During the hearing, officials from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told the bench that the bureau had checked up on all possible addresses to locate the former Ogra chairman and that Sadiq was currently in Lahore and not in the United States.

The officials further alleged that Punjab Police was providing protection to Sadiq, who is said to be a close relative of PPP’s Secretary General Senator Jahangir Badar.

Upon which, Chief Justice Iftikhar ruled that regardless of what address Sadiq may be at, the former Ogra chief must be arrested.

The chief justice also ordered the initiation of proceedings against Sadiq in accordance with the laws.

On the occasion, the NAB's prosecutor told the court that a reference had been prepared against Sadiq which would be filed in two days' time.

Chief Justice Iftikhar moreover said that the NAB's mandate was to eliminate corruption, adding that, the court wanted the implementation of its orders at all costs.

The case's hearing was subsequently adjourned to Oct 4.

On Nov 25 last year, 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.

NAB’s August 2012 report against Sadiq

The NAB had submitted to the Supreme Court a report in which Sadiq had been accused of causing a loss of Rs83 billion to the national exchequer.

The report had alleged that Sadiq in collaboration with Member Gas Mansoor Muzaffar Ali and Member Finance Mir Kamal Marri had caused a loss of Rs44 billion to the national exchequer in the form of gas development surcharge.

According to the report, Sadiq had also increased the benchmark of un-accounted for gas (UFG) from 4.5 to seven per cent against the global practices without explaining the basis and rationale for it which resulted in irrational and unjustified benefits to gas companies. A loss of Rs87.28 million had also been caused by illegal stay orders in gas theft cases by Mansoor Ali, of which Rs56.46 million is still recoverable.

The report had said that the exchequer had suffered an estimated loss of Rs22 billion because Ogra increased well-head gas price from $2.80 per mmbtu to $3.9 for Dewan Petroleum Limited.

A NAB officer had also informed the court that Rs13.27 million had been paid to lawyers to defend Sadiq in a fake degree case.

Referring to relocation of CNG stations, the report had stated that 47 such cases had been entertained illegally for Sadiq and Kamal Marri. Evidence regarding ‘kickbacks/commissions’ had also been collected from agents and frontmen working for Sadiq, Kamal Marri and Mansoor Ali.

NAB stated that the investigation had also revealed that Mansoor Ali had misused his authority and illegally obtained vehicles from SSGCL and SNGPL for almost two years, causing a loss of Rs3 million to the national exchequer in the form of fuel, driver and depreciation cost.