Court: SC orders filing of reference against PM, Rehman Malik, Jahangir Badar for appointing, protecting Tauqir Sadiq

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Supreme Court bench on Thursday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file reference within a week against Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and PPP leader Jahangir Badar within a week, being responsible for the appointment of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) former chairman Tauqir Sadiq and later providing him protection from arrest.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain ordered this while hearing OGRA implementation case. The court directed NAB to file reference and submit report till January 30. The bench observed that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had failed to perform their mandatory duties.
Appearing on notice, a representative of NAB informed the court that Rehman Malik and Jahangir Badar were accused of helping Tauqir Sadiq to flee abroad. He said a report pertaining to filing of reference against these persons was sent to NAB chairman on January 10, but his signatures on the report were awaited.

The court then directed NAB chairman to explain why he had not yet signed on the report. The court said if NAB chairman will not give explanation, action will be taken against him. During the hearing, NAB’s prosecutor told the court that police had arrested Tauqir Sadiq in UAE, however released him later, as the UAE authorities told the police that neither he (Tauqir Sadiq) was wanted there nor the required documents were complete.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja remarked that NAB was not innocent to this extent. He said police team left for UAE without the arrest warrant and that was the reason that the UAE authorities said that they had to abide by their law. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said that it was NAB’s motto to let go of big corrupt fish and only catches the weak and accused in trivial cases. He said such carelessness showed that the government agencies were determined to not to arrest him, and foreign ministry was also following the footsteps of NAB and FIA.

Director Legal FIA Azam Khan told the court that Central Investigation Department (CID) of Dubai had arrested Tauqir Sadiq and released him later. He said NAB’s investigation officer had forwarded back the report over arrest and release of Tauqir Sadiq by the UAE authorities, he added.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja asked NAB’s counsel that as to what action had been taken against the five-member committee that had selected Tauqeer Sadiq? He also lamented that while Tauqir Sadiq kept sitting in NAB’s office, only his companion had been taken into custody, but the former was not arrested. The man who gulped down the nation’s Rs84 billions had been travelling from one country to another but the court would not let him get away, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja said. Later, the court adjourned further hearing till Jan 31.