SC directs foreign secretary to ensure repatriation of Rs83billion accused

ISLAMABAD: A two member Supreme Court bench on Thursday directed the Foreign Affairs Secretary to ensure immediate repatriation of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s OGRA former chairman Tauqir Sadiq, accused of Rs83billion embezzlements, from Dubai by taking all possible steps.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a suo moto case pertaining to non implementation of its SC May 25, 2011 verdict declaring the appointment of former OGRA chief as illegal and gave findings against him for causing a colossal losses of Rs83 billion to the national exchequer.

The court also directed the Secretary to submit his report prior to March 11 detailing reasons for the deficiencies in the relevant documents required for Tauqir Sadiq’s extradition from the UAE.

The court expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by an additional secretary of the foreign affairs’ ministry over the issue. The court directed the accountability court seized with the issue to submit record of the warrants issued for the arrest of Tauqeer Sadiq.

The court noted that it was surprised to know that the National Accountability Bureau NAB had no information over the extradition laws. During the hearing, NAB’s Prosecutor General K.K Agha stated that NAB was feeling frustrated with hindrances, thus it had sought assistance of the brotherly country over the issue.

Former Advocate General Punjab Khawaja Haris Ahmed, who is assisting the court in the issue, stated that the required procedure for extradition of the accused had not been followed. He said the authorities in Dubai had been informed through Interpol team from Islamabad that Tauqir Sadiq and Shah Rukh Jatoi were wanted in Pakistan in murder case which made the
Issue complicated further.

He said no representative from State of Pakistan or even from NAB was associated with the deportation issue. “It was also evident from the report submitted by the NAB itself”, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja noted. He said in the previous order too, the court had directed for taking legal assistance of a lawyer in Dubai, however of no avail.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja noted that the court was not a forum for convicting anyone, adding that responsible would have to face due process and fair trial under Article 10A. He regretted that NAB had not even filed any reference against the accused named by it in its report.

To a court query, Khawaja Haris stated that the option for plea bargain against the accused was misused as NAB had given clean chit to the accused who were liable for disqualification. Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing until March 11. OGRA’s former chairman is accused of Rs 82 billion embezzlements. He fled Pakistan for Abu Dhabi after the Supreme Court declared his appointment illegal on November 25, 2011.

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