SC sets Dec 26 deadline for arrest of OGRA’s former chairman

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday expressed severe dismay over the National Accountability Bureau NAB for its failure to arrest former chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Ogra Tauqir Sadiq, allegedly involved in a Rs82billion corruption scam.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain directed NAB to positively arrest the accused and produce him before it on December 26. “When Anti Terrorism Cell of Police was unable to arrest Tauqir Sadiq, then how it will arrest the terrorists”, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja remarked.

Addressing the Inspectors General IG of Punjab police and Motorway police, who appeared on notice, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja said it was a matter of Rs82 billion corruption and NAB was contending that both the IGs were not cooperating with it for the arrest of the accused.
He said the consumers were facing severe CNG problems due to Tauqir Sadiq’s corruption.
Inspector General Police Punjab Habibur Rehman told the court that the accusation of NAB’s official about non cooperation of police for the arrest of Tauqir Sadiq was not correct.

He said a team headed by Capital City police Officer CCPO Lahore was constituted for the arrest of Tauqir Sadiq.

Inspector General Motorway Police Zafar Iqbal Luk told the court that he had received information from the NAB about presence of Tauqir Sadiq’s vehicle at motorway, however it was proved wrong. He said after that NAB had not approached him. Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing till December 26.

On last hearing, an investigating officer of NAB had contended before the court that Motorway police did not cooperate with him to apprehend Tauqir Sadiq, who had travelled via motorway a few months ago. He had apprised the court that NAB had sought assistance from Islamabad and Punjab Police as well as counter terrorism agencies for the arrest of Tauqir Sadiq.

Tauqir Sadiq was appointed as Ogra’s chairman by former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. However on Nov 25, 2011, the Supreme Court had declared his appointment as illegal and had ordered NAB to investigate corruption cases against him and submit its findings within 45 days.

According to NAB’s investigation, the former chairman Ogra had converted the operating income of two public utilities — the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Sui Southern Gas Company — into non-operating income, resulting in a Rs38 billion additional burden on consumers and eroding the gas development surcharge.